Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declares a unilateral ceasefire beginning January 18 at 2:00 am Israel Standard Time (UTC+2) in its conflict with Hamas. However, Israeli Defense Forces will remain in the Gaza Strip until further notice.
The "Washington Post" reveals that the current United States administration turned down an Iranian attempt to settle disagreements about recognizing the right of existence of Israel and alleged Iranian support of terrorism in 2003.
Ariel Sharon presents the new politically right-wing Israeli government. Part of his coalition are Sharon's Likud bloc, the National Religious Party, the National Union and Tommy Lapid's secular Shinui party.