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New Israel-Gaza Violence Tests Fragile Ceasefire

Israel launched fresh strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza early Friday in response to rocket fire, underscoring the fragility of a ceasefire agreed after an escalation that killed 34 Palestinians.

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Israel Army to Probe 'Unexpected' Harm to Civilians in Gaza Strike

Israel's military said Friday it would investigate unanticipated civilian casualties in a strike the previous day on an Islamic Jihad target in the Gaza Strip.

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Top Cleric Says Protests-Swept Iraq Will Never be the Same

Iraq will never be the same following the weeks of demonstrations in Baghdad and the country's south demanding sweeping reform, its top Shiite cleric said Friday in his most emphatic endorsement yet of the protest movement.

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Football Diplomacy with Qatar Hints at Saudi 'Peace' Effort

A Saudi-led bloc's decision to play a football tournament in rival Qatar could herald a rapprochement after a two-year stand-off, and signal Riyadh is tempering its muscular approach that stoked regional crises.

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Khamenei Says Iran Wants Removal of Israel State Not People

Iran's supreme leader said Friday that calls for the abolition of Israel which have sparked outrage in the West target the "imposed state" not the Jewish people.

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Syria’s Assad Says ‘Resistance’ Will Force US Troops Out

Syrian President Bashar Assad says the American presence in Syria will lead to armed “resistance” that will eventually force the U.S. troops to leave.

Assad spoke in an interview with Russia24 TV and Rossiya Segodnya news agency that was broadcast on Friday.

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Israel Says It Has Completed Gaza Strikes after Rocket Fire

Israel says it has completed a series of airstrikes on targets linked to the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza after rocket fire that rattled a day-old truce.

The military statement early on Friday indicates that Israel is willing to abide by the cease-fire if there are no additional rocket attacks.

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Morocco Rapper Faces Jail for Insulting Police

A Moroccan rapper who co-authored a song criticizing the kingdom faces two years in prison after appearing in court Thursday charged with offending public officials.

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Egypt under Fire over 'Shrinking' Freedoms during U.N. Rights Review

Egypt faced strong criticism at a U.N. review of its rights record Wednesday, with diplomats voicing alarm over detention conditions and shrinking freedoms in the country recently rocked by mass protests.

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When Hamas is Not in Israel's Sights

For the first time in more than a decade, Israeli forces have bombed Gaza without targeting Hamas.

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