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Israeli Planes Strike Gaza after Rocket Fire

Israeli jets struck the Gaza Strip late on Thursday for the third time in as many days, moderately wounding four Palestinians, security and medical officials said.

Security officials and eyewitnesses said that the Israeli aircraft hit three targets; two in the Gaza City area and a third in Khan Younis, further south.

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U.N. Briefed on Syria's Alleged Nuclear Activities

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported to U.N. Security Council members on Syria's suspected nuclear activities Thursday during a closed-door meeting.

"Council members were briefed by the IAEA, who provided the technical details that led to its conclusion of the violation by Syria of its nuclear non-proliferation obligations," said a French source.

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U.S. Sour on Arab U.N. Bid for Palestinian Statehood

The United States said Thursday that it disagreed with the Arab League after it said it would submit a request for recognition of a Palestinian state to the United Nations.

"We do not believe attempts to resolve final status issues in international bodies like the United Nations are able to bring about the enduring peace, which both the parties and the United States seek," the State Department said in a written statement.

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Venezuela's Chavez Urges Libyan Leader to Resist

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday sent a message of support to embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, urging him to resist and calling on European nations to worry about their own domestic issues.

"There is Gadhafi resisting. Until when will this outrage last?" Chavez said at a meeting of his ministers. Part of the event was broadcast on the state television network VTV.

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Arab League to Request U.N. Recognition of Palestinian State

The Arab League will submit to the United Nations a request for recognition of a Palestinian state, Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said on Thursday in Doha.

The Arab peace initiative committee "has decided to submit a call to the member states of the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state," Arabi told a news conference after a meeting of the committee in the Qatari capital.

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Russia: Gadhafi has 'Suicide Plan' to Blow Up Capital

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has a "suicidal plan" to blow up the capital Tripoli if it is taken by rebels, the Kremlin's special envoy to Libya told a Russian newspaper Thursday.

"The Libyan premier told me: if the rebels seize the city, we will cover it with missiles and blow it up," Kremlin envoy Mikhail Margelov said in an interview with the the Izvestia daily.

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Libya Rebels Break Through after Retaking Gualish

Libyan rebels repulsed loyalists who had retaken the desert hamlet of Gualish on Wednesday and chased them to the outskirts of Asabah, shelling the town from nearby hills, an Agence France Presse correspondent said.

The rebel breakthrough came as an insurgent commander downplayed talk of a political solution, saying strongman Moammar Gadhafi refuses to go.

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Iran's Baghdad Ambassador Hurt in Accident

Iran's ambassador to Iraq was slightly injured in an accident at a checkpoint outside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, a security official said on Thursday.

"The incident occurred Tuesday at the main entrance to the Green Zone, when a bomb detector reported a problem but the driver of the vehicle (carrying the ambassador) did not notice and continued on his way. The barrier then hit the vehicle," he said.

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Syrian Forces Kill Two Protesters in Deir al-Zour

Syrian security forces killed two civilians when they opened fire on protesters in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour on Thursday, said Abdel Karim Rihawi of the Syrian League of Human Rights.

At least five more people were wounded in the shooting, Rihawi said.

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New Israeli Strikes on Gaza after Rocket Fire

Israeli jets bombed three sites in Gaza overnight after rockets were fired from the coastal strip, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said on Thursday.

The Israeli air strikes were the second in as many days, as rocket fire from Gaza into Israel increased suddenly after months of relative quiet.

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