|Israeli shells hit Gaza. Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi|
The development, which was applauded throughout the Middle East, the West and neighboring Egypt, follows the 2-minute-long cease fire two days ago that was prompted when each side paused to reload their weapons, sources told TheYellowDailyNews.
The Obama deal is considered the longest cease fire on record, and brings with it hopes that the two warring sides could come to the table and extend the cease fire by several more minutes.
"The killing of innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip with U.S.-funded weapons cannot be tolerated to continue on forever," the president said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "That is why I have stoked a peace process that must result in at least a 10-minute cease fire."
Middle East experts immediately said that Obama might be pushing for too long of an accord at a time when tensions are fragile.
"Obama's proposal of doubling the length of the ceasefire is certainly a donnybrook, one in which the doves and hawks in the warring fractions will have to weigh carefully," Boris Shields, a Harvard University scholar in Middle Eastern Studies, said in an exclusive interview with TheYellowDailyNews. "This brinkmanship that Obama is displaying is both laudable and fraught with peril."
Palestinian officials said at least 200 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the latest wave of Israeli airstrikes that began a week ago in response to militant factions of Hamas firing missiles into Israel from Gaza City. At least one Israeli has been reported killed.
The United Nations said hundreds of thousands of Gazans were without power and water, and that hundreds of homes had been destroyed by Israel —- the United States' top ally in the region.
The United Nations also announced Wednesday that it would examine whether the existence of Israel is playing a role in the bloodshed.
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