Israel and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt on the eighth day of intensive Israeli fire on the Gaza Strip and militant rocket attacks out of the enclave, Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said.

First word of the truce came from a Palestinian official who has knowledge of the negotiations in Cairo, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also pursuing peace efforts.

Asked whether a ceasefire deal had been reached, an Egyptian official in Cairo said: "Yes, and Egypt will announce it."