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HRW Calls on Iraqis to Avoid Ad Hoc Mass Grave Exhumations

Iraqis should not carry out hurried or ad hoc exhumations of mass graves left by jihadists, as this makes identifying victims more difficult, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

Dozens of mass graves have been discovered in areas retaken from the Islamic State jihadist group, whose rule in Iraq and Syria has been marked by widespread atrocities including mass summary executions.

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Australia Close to Resettling 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Australia is close to resettling the 12,000 refugees from the war in Syria and Iraq it promised to urgently take more than a year ago, an official said Wednesday.

All 12,000 have been issued visas and more than 10,000 have already been brought from Middle Eastern refugee camps to Australia, Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said in a statement. The remainder will be resettled in the coming months, he said.

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More Palestinians in Jerusalem Seek Israeli Citizenship

More Palestinians in east Jerusalem are applying for Israeli citizenship in hopes of swapping their vulnerable status as mere city residents for the rights and ease of travel that come with an Israeli passport.

But after long touting its offer of citizenship to them, Israel is now dragging its feet in granting it, those who track Palestinian applicants say. Lawyers said their Palestinian clients now wait months for an appointment with the Interior Ministry and an average of three years for a decision.

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Palestinian Killed by Israeli Artillery Fire in Gaza

A Palestinian was killed and two others injured before dawn on Wednesday by Israeli artillery fire in Gaza, according to a Palestinian official.

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Coalition Gathers to Hear Trump Islamic State Plan

The 68-nation U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group will meet in Washington on Wednesday to accelerate efforts to destroy the remaining jihadist strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

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China's Xi Calls for Peace in Meeting with Netanyahu

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Tuesday for peace between Israel and an independent Palestine "as soon as possible" during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, state media reported. 

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Iraq Forces Gain Ground, Deploy Snipers in Mosul

Iraqi forces gained ground from the Islamic State group in Mosul and have deployed snipers in the Old City to target the jihadists, officers said on Tuesday.

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Israel Plans Mass Evacuation if War Erupts Again

If Hamas in Gaza or Hizbullah in Lebanon go to war with Israel, they could find their usual targets empty.

Israel is drawing up contingency plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million civilians from border communities to protect them from attacks from Hamas, Hizbullah or other Islamic militant groups.

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Arab Israeli Woman Jailed for Joining IS with Family

An Arab Israeli who took her young family to Iraq and joined the Islamic State group was sentenced to more than four years in prison Tuesday, the justice ministry said.

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Israeli Drone Crashes in Syria, Circumstances Unclear

The Israeli military has confirmed that a drone crashed in Syria earlier this week in unclear circumstances.

In a statement, the military said the "Skylark" went down on Sunday and that the incident was being investigated. Tuesday's statement said there is "no risk of a breach of information."

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