Hamas has built up a huge arsenal of rockets, and over 4,000 were fired at Israel in the last 11 days.

From news reports:

‘Israel’s high-level security cabinet voted in favor of a ceasefire in Gaza Thursday night, potentially bringing an end to 11 deadly days of hostilities with the Hamas terror group. Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel that the ceasefire will go into effect at 2 a.m. local time, [which is 11 a.m. NZ time].

‘A statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said that the security cabinet had “unanimously accepted the recommendation of all security officials, the IDF chief of staff, the head of the Shin Bet, the head of the Mossad and the head of the National Security Council, to accept the Egyptian initiative for a bilateral ceasefire without any conditions, which will take effect later.”

‘At the same time, the statement added, “the political leadership emphasizes that it is the reality on the ground that will determine the future of the operation.”

‘Following the meeting, a Hamas official confirmed to the Reuters news agency a “mutual and simultaneous” ceasefire with Israel had been reached.’

Addressing the UN, Egypt’s ambassador to the UN said that teams of Egyptian observers would be sent to Gaza, Israel and East Jerusalem. He also said that Egypt would contribute $US 500 million to rebuilding infrastructure in Gaza by specialist Egyptian firms. One suspects that this means a non-public undertaking has been given to Israel to dismantle the extensive underground tunnel network beneath civilian areas which has allowed Hamas to stock weapons, missiles, command posts, communication centres, and fighters, as well as to shoot from underground in Gaza.

Although for political reasons the Egyptian government can’t be seen to be indifferent to Palestinian aspirations, it has made clear it has no time for Islamists, unlike NZ’s Green and some Labour MPs.