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2 killed in airstrikes as deal announced

Nov. 21, 2012 8:05 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2012 9:06 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel launched deadly airstrikes across the Gaza Strip late Wednesday, as Egypt's foreign minister announced a ceasefire to end eight days of violence.

Missiles fired by an unmanned drone slammed into Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip around 7:30 p.m., killing a teenager and critically injuring another. Medical sources identified the teenager as 14-year-old Nadir Abu Mugheiseeb. Another person was injured in the attack.

Another airstrike killed a Palestinian in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.

Six people were also wounded in a separate airstrike on Gaza City, a Ma'an reporter said.

The latest deaths and injuries came as the Egypt's foreign minister announced a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians during a news conference in Cairo with the US secretary of state Hilary Clinton.

Mohamed Kamel Amr said the ceasefire would come into effect at 9 p.m.

"These efforts ... have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen," Amr said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama on Wednesday he was ready to give a ceasefire with Hamas a chance, his office said in a statement.

"(Netanyahu) spoke a short while ago with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance, and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilize the situation and calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary," the statement from Netanyahu's office said.

The ceasefire announcement follows Egyptian mediated efforts to put an end to a week of violence, which started when Israel assassinated Hamas military commander Ahmad al-Jaabari last Wednesday.

Israel's military has bombarded the Gaza Strip for eight days, killing around 170 people and injuring over 1,000. Extensive damage has been caused to civilian infrastructure in Gaza as Israel hit over 1,500 sites, with media buildings targeted and several journalists killed and wounded.

An Israeli soldier and civilian were reported killed by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, with three other civilians killed by a rocket last Thursday in Israel's south.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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