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Jordan Says Syrian Rebel Commander Killed in Family Feud

A Syrian rebel commander was shot dead in Amman in an apparent revenge killing by family members, Jordanian police said Sunday as the opposition blamed the Damascus regime for his death.

Maher Rahhal, who headed the Liwa al-Mujahideen Brigade, one of the groups fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, "was shot twice in Abu Nseir district" late Friday, a security official said.

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Jordan Blocks Access to Nine News Websites

Jordan's government has blocked nine unlicensed news websites, in line with a 2012 law criticized as a threat to freedom of expression, a global media watchdog said on Wednesday.

"The Jordanian government aims to use this licencing system to ensure that it controls the Internet and the information published on it," said Virginie Dangles of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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Syrian Refugee Women Face Harassment, Poverty in Lebanon

Before she began working as a hairdresser, poverty forced Syrian Umm Mahmoud to seek donations for food and rent money to survive as a refugee in Lebanon.

Often men suggested she have sex with them to show her gratitude, the 32-year-old said.

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Jordan Demands Halt of 'Barbaric' Israel Gaza Assault

Jordan, one of just two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, demanded Wednesday an immediate halt to deadly Israeli air raids against the Gaza Strip.

Government spokesman Mohammad Momani said that the raids that killed more than 20 Palestinians in purported response to rocket fire that has killed no one in Israel were "barbaric".

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Jordan Army Launches Recruitment Drive

Jordan's army launched a recruitment drive on Tuesday to address "a general shortage", following last month's advances by jihadist militants in neighboring Iraq.

"The Jordan Armed Forces announces the need to recruit a number of males due to a general shortage. All those born after January 1, 1987 can apply," it said in an advertisement in newspapers and on the army's website.

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U.N. Highlights Hardships for Lone Female Syrian Refugees

Thousands of Syrian refugee women are caught in a "spiral of hardship, isolation and anxiety," widowed or separated from their husbands and struggling to survive, the U.N. warned on Tuesday.

In a new report, the U.N. agency for refugees UNHCR highlighted the plight of some 145,000 Syrian refugee women who are fending for themselves and their families in dire circumstances across the Middle East.

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Syria War Refugees still Flooding into Jordan

The United Nations said Thursday it sees no let-up in refugees fleeing war-ravaged Syria for neighboring Jordan, and appealed for funds to help the kingdom cope with the influx.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it expects the number of Syrian refugees in Jordan to increase by as much as 33 percent to up to 800,000 by the end of this year.

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Top Jordan Jihadist Denounces IS Caliphate

A leading Jordanian jihadist ideologist on Wednesday denounced the declaration of a "caliphate" by Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, warning against more bloodshed.

"Can every Muslim and weak person find refuge in this caliphate? Or would it be like a sharp sword against all opponents?" Issam Barqawi, known as Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi, wrote on Facebook and on jihadist websites.

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Jordan Urges World Help to Face Regional Turmoil

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday appealed for international support to help his country deal with regional turmoil after jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria declared an "Islamic caliphate".

"It is important that the international community continue to support Jordan to deal challenges and developments in the region," a palace statement quoted the king as telling a Japanese parliamentary delegation.

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Netanyahu Calls for Jordan Support, Kurdish Independence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the international community on Sunday to support Jordan in the fight against "Islamic extremism" and to back the independence of Iraq's Kurds.

"We need to support efforts by the international community to strengthen Jordan and support the aspirations of the Kurds for independence," Netanyahu said in a speech to the Institute of National Security Studies think-tank in Tel Aviv.

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