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Israel Says No Plan to Allow Jews to Pray at Al-Aqsa

Israel on Wednesday reassured Jordan that it would not allow Jewish prayer at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, after reports of a possible change raised concerns in the Arab world.

"There is no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount," a source in the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, using the Israeli term for the compound which is located in the Old City.

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Gunfire from Egypt Wounds 2 Israeli Soldiers

Two Israeli soldiers were wounded Wednesday when alleged drug smugglers fired shots and an anti-tank missile from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula at their vehicle patrolling the border, the army said.

Troops responded to the attack, near the border community of Ezuz about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the Gaza Strip, killing three of the assailants.

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Syria Says Shoots down Two of Three 'IS Warplanes'

Syria's air force has destroyed two of three warplanes reportedly seized by fighters of the Islamic State group in the north of the country, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said.

The jihadists were reported to have seized the three planes, believed to be MiG-21 and MiG-23 jets, from Syrian military airports now under IS control in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Raqa.

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Israel Navy Arrests 7 Palestinian Fishermen Off Gaza

Israel's navy arrested seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza on Wednesday, officials on both sides said, with the army claiming their boats had strayed beyond the permitted fishing limit.

"The Israeli navy arrested seven fishermen from one family in Sudaniya in the sea off northern Gaza," the head of the Gaza fishermen's syndicate, Nizar Ayash, told AFP.

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Kobane Defenders Hold Out as Iraqi Kurds Vote on Reinforcements

Kurdish fighters defending Syria's border town of Kobane held out against the Islamic State group Wednesday, anxious for relief as Iraq's Kurdish parliament was set to vote on sending reinforcements.

Backed by air strikes from a U.S.-led coalition, the Kurds have been defending the town on the Turkish border against a fierce IS offensive for more than a month.

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Saudi Jails 13 for Plan to Attack U.S. Forces, Sentences 2 More to Death for Shiite Protests

A Saudi court has sentenced 13 people, including an Afghan and a Qatari, to between 18 months and 30 years in prison for plotting an al-Qaida attack against U.S. forces.

The defendants were convicted of "forming a terrorist cell" to target American forces in Qatar with hand grenades, rockets and other weapons, official media said after Tuesday's verdicts.

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Propaganda, Personal Struggles Turn some Young Belgians to Jihad

As chairman of the Annasr mosque, Mimoun Aquichouh personally knows a number of young men who left the small Belgian city of Vilvoorde to wage jihad in Syria.

They worshiped at his mosque on a quiet street in the former industrial city just north of the capital Brussels as they fought their own personal struggles before finding the path of jihad, much to Aquichouh's dismay.

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Egypt Bans anti-Mubarak Activist from Leaving Cairo

Egypt's authorities banned a prominent activist of the 2011 uprising, Asma Mahfouz, from leaving the country late Tuesday while on her way to Bangkok, a Cairo airport official said.

Mahfouz, a well known youth leader, was a leading figure of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

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Little Hope for Tunisia Election in Jihadist-Hit Kasserine

When Hisham Missaoui was seriously wounded tracking suspected al-Qaida-linked jihadists near Kasserine, his family blocked the road to the restive Tunisian city with burning tyres and rubble.

Mired in poverty, Kasserine lies at the foot of Mount Chaambi, where the army and police have since 2012 been hunting down jihadists blamed for deadly attacks on security forces.

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U.N.: Iraq's Yazidis Facing 'Attempted Genocide'

Iraq's Yazidi minority is facing what may amount to an "attempted genocide" at the hands of Islamist fighters, a senior U.N. rights official said Tuesday after visiting northern Iraq.

"The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide," U.N. Assistant Secretary General Ivan Simonovic said after meeting with officials and displaced people in Arbil, Baghdad and Dohuk during the week-long visit.

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