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Turkey Expels Israeli Ambassador over Gaza Flotilla

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador to Ankara on Friday and suspended all military ties with its one-time ally after a U.N. report condemned excessive force used by Israel on a Gaza aid flotilla.

"At this point the measures we are taking are: The relations between Turkey and Israel will be downgraded to second secretary level. All officials over the level of second secretary, primarily the ambassador, will turn back to their country at the latest on Wednesday," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at a press conference.

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Bahrain Denies Shiite Teenager Shot Dead by Police

Bahrain's interior ministry on Friday denied reports that police shot dead a Shiite teenager taking part in a protest two days ago and offered a $26,500 reward for information about his killers.

"The ministry expresses regret over various statements issued by certain political and human rights organizations" claiming that Ali Jawad Ahmed al-Sheikh's death "resulted from a police tear gas projectile shot at his face."

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Israelis Call for 'Demo of One Million'

Israeli activists have called for a "demonstration of one million" people as part of their ongoing protest movement against rising costs of living in the Jewish state, organizers said Friday.

It will be held Saturday evening across Israel, the organizers said.

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Official: Israel to Accept U.N. Flotilla Report with 'Reservations'

Israel will accept the United Nations report on its deadly attack last year on a Turkish-led flotilla of aid boats for the Gaza Strip with some reservations, a senior official said Friday.

"We will announce our acceptance of the report after its official publication, with specific reservations," the official who declined to be identified told Agence France Presse.

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Libya's NTC Outlines 20-Month Democratic Road Map

A council tasked with drafting a constitution for Libya should be elected within eight months ahead of presidential and legislative polls in early 2013, a rebel leadership official said Friday.

"We have outlined a clear road plan, a transition period of about 20 months," Guma al-Gamaty, the National Transitional Council's representative in Britain, told BBC radio.

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HRW Slams Turkey, Iran Attacks in North Iraq

Turkey and Iran have not done enough to protect civilians while carrying out strikes against Kurdish separatists in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

"The evidence suggests that Turkey and Iran are not doing what they need to do to make sure their attacks have a minimum impact on civilians, and in the case of Iran, it is at least quite possibly deliberately targeting civilians," Joe Stork, HRW's deputy Middle East director, said in a statement on Friday.

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International Leaders Say NATO Fights in Libya as Long as Necessary

NATO's operation in Libya will continue for as long as the civilian population there is in danger, the alliance's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and national leaders said Thursday.

"We have announced that operations will continue as long as necessary, as long as there is a threat to civilians," he said, after talks in Paris between Libyan rebel leaders and the international community.

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Hamas: U.N. Inquiry Into Israel Flotilla Raid 'Unjust'

The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas said Thursday that a U.N.-mandated inquiry into a deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza was "unjust" and lacked balance.

The inquiry into the Turkish-led aid flotilla said Israel's commando raid in 2010 was "excessive," according to extracts published by the New York Times newspaper.

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Rebel Leader: Gadhafi Speech Shows 'Despair'

Moammar Gadhafi's speech on Thursday revealed the Libyan leader's "despair" in the face of a successful revolution, a senior rebel leader said.

"Gadhafi's speech is a sign of misery and despair," Ahmed Darrat, who is overseeing the interior ministry for the rebels until a new government is elected, told Agence France Presse in Tripoli.

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Two Dead as Syrian Security Forces Make New Swoops

Two civilians were killed Thursday as Syrian security forces moved into a district of the central city of Homs and a village in the northwest, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based rights group said one death occurred in the Homs district of al-Nazihin, while shots were heard in Bab Sbaa and other areas of the volatile city.

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