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Hamas, Islamic Jihad Say 'Heroic' Shebaa Operation is Hizbullah 'Legitimate Right'

Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have lauded the attack carried out by Hizbullah in the Shebaa Farms on Wednesday, describing it as a “heroic” operation against the Israeli army.

“Targeting the enemy in Shebaa is the legitimate right of the resistance in the face of the occupation's arrogance and hostility,” Hamas said in a statement issued shortly after the assault.

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Lebanon Condemns Israeli Escalation, Says Hizbullah Operation Didn't Violate Blue Line

Prime Minister Tammam Salam condemned Wednesday Israel's military escalation in south Lebanon, as the Foreign Ministry noted that a deadly Hizbullah attack on Israeli troops in the occupied Shebaa Farms did not violate the Blue Line that was demarcated by the U.N. following the 2006 war.

In a statement, Salam stated that “the Israeli escalation on the border with Lebanon after the Shebaa operation might pave the way for dangerous possibilities that do not serve peace and stability in the region.”

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Spanish U.N. Soldier Killed by Israeli Retaliatory Fire after Shebaa Attack

A U.N. peacekeeper from Spain was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hizbullah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.

A 36-year-old corporal "died this morning during incidents between Hizbullah and the Israeli army in the area of responsibility of the Spanish contingent", the Spanish defense ministry said in a statement.

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Arabi Urges Security Council to 'Immediately' Intervene to End Border Escalation

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi urged on Wednesday the United Nations Security Council to intervene to halt the “deterioration of the situation on the Israeli border with Syria and Lebanon” in the wake of the Shebaa Farms operation earlier in the day.

He said: “The Security Council should assume its responsibilities and intervene immediately to put an end to the Israeli assaults.”

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Mawlawi Confirms Fleeing Ain el-Hilweh to Prevent Muslim Bloodshed

Fugitive Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi confirmed on Wednesday that he left the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh ending speculations over his whereabouts.

“We only left Ain el-Hilweh to avoid the shed of Muslim blood,” Mawlawi said via his account on Twitter.

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Geagea Slams Hizbullah's Shebaa Attack as Jumblat Warns of 'Turbulent Phase'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat were quick to react on Wednesday to Hizbullah's attack against an Israeli military vehicle in the Shebaa Farms, warning that Lebanon is headed towards a “turbulent” period.

The Foreign Ministry meanwhile condemned Israel's shelling of Lebanese territory.

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Presidential Election Session Postponed Anew over Lack of Quorum

Speaker Nabih Berri postponed on Wednesday a parliamentary session to elect a new president to February 18 over lack of quorum.

The 18th session was adjourned over ongoing disagreements between the rival parties on the character of the presidential candidate.

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2 Israeli Troops Killed, 7 Hurt in Hizbullah Operation in Shebaa

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven wounded on Wednesday in a Hizbullah attack on a military convoy in the occupied Shebaa Farms.

The Israeli army announced that two of its troops were killed, while a spokesman said seven Israeli soldiers were “lightly-to-moderately wounded” in the attack.

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Tourists Give Hope to Residents of Battered Tripoli

As the tour group made its way through the narrow alleys of the seaside city of Tripoli, marveling at its medieval architecture, residents stared back at a sight that for them was just as exotic — visitors in their poor, restive corner of Lebanon.

"Foreigners!" residents called out to each other as the group of around 30 Lebanese and foreign tourists made their way through the Old City's labyrinth of cobblestone alleys, snapping pictures of centuries-old archways and graceful minarets. "We put you on our heads!" coffee seller Abu Mohammed, 65, said, using a traditional Arabic greeting for honored guests.

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Families of Hostage Servicemen Say Negotiations Reached Final Stages

The families of abducted soldiers and policemen cited on Wednesday progress in the negotiations between the Lebanese state and the abductors of the servicemen.

According to al-Mustaqbal newspaper, the relatives expressed relief over the near end of the abduction ordeal, expressing belief that a deal has been reached between negotiators to release a captive servicemen in return for three Roumieh prison inmates and women prisoners in Syria's jails.

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