Cease-fire between Palestinians, Israel takes effect in Gaza City | USA TODAY

A cease-fire took effect between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip after days of deadly violence.

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The flare-up was the worst fighting between Israel and Gaza militant groups since Israel and Hamas fought an 11-day war last year, and adds to the destruction and misery that have plagued blockaded Gaza for years.

The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire took effect at 11:30 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. ET. Israeli strikes and militant rockets continued in the minutes leading up to the beginning of the truce, and Israel said it would “respond strongly” if the cease-fire was violated.

Israeli aircraft have pummeled targets in Gaza since Friday, while the Iran-backed Palestinian Jihad militant group has fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in response. The risk of the cross-border fighting turning into a full-fledged war remained as long as no truce was reached. Israel says some of the dead were killed by misfired rockets.

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