After a deadly eight-day conflict, Israel and Hamas militants agreed to a ceasefire effective Wednesday evening, the Egyptian foreign minister announced at a press conference.

Mohammed Kamel Amr, the foreign minister, made the announcement in Cairo and was flanked by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Egypt is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of international peace,” Clinton said.

The deal was brokered by the new Islamist government of Egypt, solidifying its role as a leader in the quickly shifting Middle East

The cease-fire agreement, which took effect at 2 p.m. ET, was confirmed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters reported that the Israeli leader warned in a statement that more forceful action may be employed if the cease-fire deal is unsuccessful. Netanyahu also left the door open to a possible ground invasion of Gaza at a later date.

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