A truce has been reached to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, all sides said today.

Palestinian and Egyptian officials announced the deal. A senior Israeli government official said Israel “once again” accepted Egypt’s proposed ceasefire.

Throughout the conflict, Israel has openly accepted Egypt’s ceasefire proposals and slammed Hamas for not doing so.

Egypt, which has brokered negotiations, said on state-run media that the ceasefire will go into effect at midnight local time (5 p.m. ET). But Hamas officials said it was to begin at 7 p.m. local time.

Get complete coverage of breaking news on CNN TV, and CNN Mobile.


DAILY SHOW: “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pita Place”



“Syria opposition group claims 1,300 killed in chemical attack in Damascus suburbs”


BEIRUT The Syrian opposition said Wednesday that state security forces had launched intense artillery and rocket barrages on the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus, claiming that hundreds of people died in what was being called a “poisonous gas” attack.

The attack coincided with the visit by a 20-member U.N. chemical weapons team to Syria to investigate three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred during the past year. Their presence raises questions about why the regime – which called the claims of the attack Wednesday “absolutely baseless” – would use chemical agents at this time.

In a statement, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said the U.S. is deeply concerned by reports chemical weapons use in Syria, and that the Obama administration is “working urgently to gather additional information.

“If the Syrian government has nothing to hide and is truly committed to an impartial and credible investigation of chemical weapons use in Syria, it will facilitate the U.N. team’s immediate and unfettered access to this site,” Earnest said.

The Egypt-based Arab League condemned the “horrific attack” against civilians and called for an investigation.





Just In . . .

The Washington Post Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:47:33 AM

National News Alert

Egyptian court orders release of ex-president Hosni Mubarak

Egypt’s former autocrat, Hosni Mubarak, could leave prison as early as Wednesday night, government officials and legal experts said, after a Cairo court ordered his release. Mubarak’s release would constitute another dramatic blow to the protest movement that led to his removal from office in February, 2011, and has rallied in recent weeks against the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.


MTP: Richard Engel Reports on the Fighting in Egypt


What do you think?  Should we suspend foreign aid to Egypt?



“At Ramadan meals, Egypt weighs split in society”



CAIRO – As the sun set on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, families across Cairo gathered for the fast-breaking iftar meal in a country that in the last two weeks has seen protests by millions, a coup against an elected president and the deaths of dozens of people in clashes with the military.

Ramadan is traditionally a time of personal reflection and feeling a sense of brotherhood with fellow Muslims, but in the aftermath of the military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, the divisions among Egyptians extend even down to this traditional meal.

On one side of the city, Tahrir Square remains the symbolic center of the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak and later opposed Morsi. Across town in an eastern district, Morsi’s supporters have coalesced around a major intersection in front of the mosque of Rabaah al-Adawiya.

Breaking their fast outdoors, the people in the two camps expressed bafflement and disdain for the other side.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood vows peaceful defiance

“I don’t know if the people at Rabaah al-Adawiya are out of their minds or if they are brainwashed,” said Shenouda William, a 35-year-old lawyer, who sat with about 100 people in the echoing emptiness of Tahrir Square to break their fast. Others described the Morsi supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood as ignorant peasants or possibly Palestinian and Syrian refugees looking for food and a place to sleep.





Protesters gather in downtown Cairo

LIVE VIDEO — Crowds gather in downtown Cairo after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office by the military last week.


“Violence erupts in Egypt”


By Ben Wedeman and Tom Watkins, CNN

updated 11:02 AM EDT, Fri July 5, 2013

Cairo (CNN) – Violence erupted here Friday as supporters of Mohamed Morsy turned out en masse, calling for his restoration to the presidency two days after his ouster in a military coup.

A number of Morsy supporters were wounded by gunshots as they tried to storm the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, state broadcaster Nile TV said Friday.

Morsy was said to be held there, CNN’s Reza Sayah reported from outside the building.

He said he had seen a body around which hundreds of people were huddled, some of them crying. A few feet away, a few thousand pro-Morsy demonstrators faced off across a barbed-wire barricade against a line of soldiers, who then detonated flash grenades and fired tear gas in an apparent attempt to get the demonstrators to move away.

Many of them did just that, though some remained in defiance. Demonstrators could be seen carrying away a wounded man. Some demonstrators waved flags and held pictures of Morsy.

State broadcaster Nile TV, citing a security source, said live ammunition was not used against demonstrators and no one had been hurt or killed outside the Republican Guard headquarters.



“Egypt prepares for backlash as Morsi allies reject new regime”



Link to video: Egypt: Cameron and Hague uneasy over Morsi ousting

Egypt is braced for further dramatic events on Friday as the vanquishedMuslim Brotherhood called for a “day of rejection” following a widespread crackdown on its leadership by the country’s new interim president, Adly Mansour.

Supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi, still reeling from the military coup that removed their leader from power, are expected to take to the streets after Friday prayers following a series of raids and arrests that decimated the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior ranks and consolidated the miltary’s hold on the country.

In a stark sign of Egypt’s new political reality, the group’s supreme leader, Mohamed al-Badie, who was untouchable under Morsi’s rule, was one of those arrested.

Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said: “We are being headhunted all over the country. We are holding a mass rally after Friday prayers to take all peaceful steps necessary to bring down this coup.” He called for demonstrations to be peaceful, despite fears that anger may spill over into violence.

State prosecutors announced on Thursday that Morsi, who is in military custody, would face an investigation starting next week into claims that he had “insulted the presidency” – a move that would appear to put an end to any hopes of a political resurrection.

At his inauguration on Thursday, Mansour, who was appointed as head of the constitutional court on Sunday, said this week’s protests had “corrected the path of the glorious revolution that took place on 25 January 2011″, and that continued revolution was needed until “we stop producing tyrants.”

He also reached out to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, calling the organisation “part of the fabric of Egyptian society”.

“They are just one of its parties and they are invited to integrate. If they answer the call, they will be welcomed,” he told Channel 4 in his first interview.







Our $Billion in foreign aid to Egypt

should continue only if

the military sets up a truer democracy

with a guarantee of

peace with Israel.