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Cease-fire will allow Israelis to get back to routine

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday defended his decision to agree to a ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza saying he wished to allow Israel’s citizens to “return to their normal routine.”

Netanyahu discussed his decision to agree to a cease-fire, ending Operation Pillar of Defense after eight days, at a press conferece with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. The Egyptian and US-brokered cease-fire went into effect at 9 p.m. as the three leaders spoke.

Netanyahu thanked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for helping to secure the cease-fire agreement in Egypt. He also voiced his gratitude to US President Barack Obama.

The prime minister said that Obama showed “unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself.” He added that the US and Israel would cooperate going forward in halting the smuggling of weapons from Iran into the Gaza Strip.


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