An IDF soldier guiding a tank
War, what is it good for? Certainly not the budget. Photo by Reuters
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An IDF reserve soldier who was seriously wounded by rocket fire from Gaza on Wednesday has succumbed to his wounds on Thursday.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed the cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, but expressed reservations about its effectiveness, according to a Pakistani television station that interviewed him on Thursday.

Barak Ravid goes behind the scenes of Israel's decision to accept the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal, saying the agreement was reached after two days of fierce disputes among the triumverate of top Israeli ministers.

Chemi Shalev writes that the worldview of many Israelis and Diaspora Jews was turned upside down during the Gaza operation by the outpouring of international support and overwhelming media sympathy.

Zvi Bar'el writes that the success of Egyptian mediators, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, obtaining the ceasefire affords Egypt the international standing the Muslim Brotherhood has craved since winning the country's previous elections.

The Lebanese army disabled a rocket on Thursday which was primed to be fired into northern Israel and said two others were launched late on Wednesday but fell short of the border.

With Operation Pillar of Defense coming to a close, former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni could announce her return to politics in the coming days.

In honor of thousands of birds arriving in Israel, the international birding festival A Winter of Birds will be held at the country's assorted nature reserves.