Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Wednesday agreed to a cease-fire, which took effect at 9 p.m. local time. The deal, brokered by the United States and Egypt, ended eight days of fighting across Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, though analysts warned that the truce could easily unravel in the coming days. "This is a critical moment for the region," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had been dispatched to Israel by President Obama when it became clear that the fighting could spiral out of control. Clinton said the U.S. would continue to work "with our partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel." She also thanked Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who reportedly played a critical role in finalizing the cease-fire, saying Egypt had assumed the "leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured) welcomed the cease-fire, though he reserved the right for Israel to re-commence hostilities if it proves necessary.
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