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Israeli Helicopters Strike Gaza Building, No Casualties

Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at a building near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis on Thursday, targeting suspected militants, the military said.

Witnesses said the strikes hit a multi-storey building and that tanks also opened fire shortly afterwards. Palestinian medical sources said there were no casualties and that a group of people inside the building were able to escape.

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Jumblat Reiterates Support for Syria: Press Leaks Confirm STL's Politicization

Upon his return from Damascus, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Wednesday said that his point of view intersected with that of the Syrian leadership regarding the importance of making the most of the Syrian-Saudi rapprochement "through preserving the national unity government and enabling it to face the major challenges."

In a statement issued by PSP's Media Department, Jumblat noted the need to "be alert of the continuing Western efforts to disrupt this Saudi-Syrian rapprochement by sending Western delegates to Lebanon and by adhering to the STL without the slightest regard to stability."

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Poll: Israeli Jews Divided over Removal of Settlements

Jewish Israelis are divided on the question of removing some settlements as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians, with 50 percent in favor and 43 percent opposed, a poll said on Thursday.

The survey, which was conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute, found that just 28 percent of Jewish Israelis thought the government would need to remove all settlements, including major blocs.

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Israel Reportedly Traded 52 Prisoners for Arad's Gun

Israel traded 52 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners to Hizbullah in exchange for the gun of an Israeli airman who went missing in southern Lebanon in 1986, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Details of the December 2000 deal were revealed by the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, which said it was a secret part of negotiations to release three soldiers and a businessman captured in separate incidents that year.

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Arab-Israeli Rights Activist Convicted of Spying for Hizbullah

A prominent Arab-Israeli human rights activist was convicted on Wednesday of spying for Lebanon's Hizbullah, a statement from the Israeli justice ministry said.

In a plea bargain submitted to the Haifa district court, Amir Makhoul "confessed to and was convicted of ... espionage and aggravated espionage," the statement said.

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Clashes as Israeli Extremists Demonstrate in Arab Town

Israeli police and stone-throwing Arabs clashed in northern Israel on Wednesday as a group of extreme right-wing Israelis tried to march through the Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm.

Hundreds of police clad in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse angry Arab youths, many with scarves wrapped around their faces, who burned tires and hurled stones in protest ahead of an extremist rally in their town.

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Jumblat: We Can Do without New May 7, Remarks of Sayyed, Aoun Rejected

Lebanon can do without armed clashes similar to those of May 7, 2008 and the recent remarks of former head of General Security, Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun "are rejected," Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat said Thursday.

In an interview with LBC TV, Jumblat said that "the presumptions presented" by Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon were "very important," noting that "the tribunal's issue can be solved between (Premier Saad)Hariri and Nasrallah, so there's no need to topple it (STL) through street" riots.

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Report: Adib al-Alam Gathered Info on Alleged Syrian Nuclear Reactor Site

Lebanese Mossad agent Adib al-Alam has gathered information on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor site in Deir al-Zour that Israel bombed in September 2007, a security source told al-Liwaa newspaper.

The daily quoted sources as saying that former security services officer Brig. Gen. al-Alam transferred the info to Israel without specifying the nature of the data.

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Security Council Extends UNIFIL Mandate, Condemns Tensions, Urges Israel to Pull Out of Ghajar

The Security Council on Monday issued a new condemnation of tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border as it renewed the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon without changes to its rules of engagement.

In a unanimous resolution, the Council said it had determined that "the situation in Lebanon continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security" and had therefore decided to extend UNIFIL's mandate until 31 August 2011.

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Barak: Israel Would Strike Any Lebanese State Target During Next War

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has warned that the next time violence breaks out, Israel would strike directly at the Lebanese government, which he said is allowing Hizbullah to rearm.

If the Shiite party fires a rocket into Tel Aviv, "we will not run after each Hizbullah terrorist or launcher. . . . We will see it as legitimate to hit any target that belongs to the Lebanese state, not just to Hizbullah," Barak told The Washington Post.

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