OnPolitics: An end to the fighting in the Middle East?

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We've got breaking news in the Middle East: Israeli media has reported that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Security Cabinet has approved a unilateral cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip.

This comes after President Joe Biden's message to Netanyahu yesterday, applying pressure for "a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire."

It's Mabinty, with the news of the day.

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Peace in the Middle East?

A statement from Netanyahu's office said his Security Cabinet unilaterally approved the proposal mediated by Egypt. The two sides were still negotiating exactly when it would take effect.

Multiple reports said the truce was to go into effect at 2 a.m., just over three hours after the cabinet’s decision. Citing an unnamed Hamas official, Reuters reported a "mutual and simultaneous" truce with Israel would begin on Friday at 2 a.m.

How's the U.S. reacting? U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he expects to speak with Israel's foreign minister this afternoon but could not immediately confirm the cease-fire reports.

"I’m prepared at any time to go to Israel, to the Middle East, if that would serve the purpose of moving beyond violence and helping to work on improve the lives for Israelis and Palestinians alike," Blinken said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution Thursday disapproving of a $735 million U.S. arms sale to Israel. Congress was informally notified of the $735 million sale to Israel on May 5, opening a 15-day period for members of Congress to object to the transaction that ends Thursday.

“At a moment when U.S.-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a Congressional debate,” Sanders said in a statement.

Congress isn't done arguing over the Capitol riot

House Democrats pushed Thursday for $1.9 billion to bolster security at the Capitol after the riot on Jan. 6, but Republicans called it a rush to judgment that should wait until security reviews about how to spend the money are completed.

The House voted 213-212 to approve the bill, but its fate is uncertain in the Senate.

House Administration Committee Chairman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said her panel was studying how to improve Capitol Police. “To fail to act today is really to turn your backs on the men and women who fought as Capitol Police officers just yards from where we stand today," Lofgren said.

Republicans said all lawmakers support Capitol Police and the National Guard who reinforced them. But Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the top Republican on the Appropriations Committee, called the bill partisan. She said it was drafted without permanent spending decisions before security studies are completed.

More in Washington:

Need something to watch? Here are the best shows of 2021 (so far) — Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Israel cease-fire: What is happening between Israel and Palestine?

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