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Sinai Rocket Hits Israel Resort Town

A rocket fired from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula exploded in the Israeli Red Sea resort town of Eilat early on Thursday but caused no injuries or damage, a senior police official said.

Public radio said police in Eilat had been put on the highest state of alert following the blast.

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Ankara Summons Iran Envoy over Syria Conference Remarks

Turkey's foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador Wednesday over remarks by a top official in Tehran denouncing an international conference on the Syria crisis held in Istanbul.

The move came as Iran said it no longer wanted Turkey to host nuclear talks, and followed comments reportedly made by Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani critical of Ankara for staging the "Friends of Syria" conference.

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2 Dead as Fresh Fighting Erupts in West Libya

Fresh fighting erupted in western Libya on Wednesday, killing at least two people near the border with Tunisia, a hospital official said.

"The situation is once again critical," said Shukri al-Arabi, who runs the only hospital of Zuwarah, a coastal town 100 kilometers (120 miles) west of Tripoli.

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Report: Egypt Presidential Candidate Will Push for Sharia

The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for Egypt's presidency, Khairat el-Shater, has pledged to press for the implementation of sharia (Islamic law) if elected, a Muslim think tank said on Wednesday.

Shater, whose candidacy for the May election sent political shock waves throughout the post-uprising country, said implementing the sharia was "his first and final goal," said the Legal Authority for Rights and Reform after meeting with him on Tuesday.

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Iraq Fugitive VP Arrives in Saudi from Qatar

Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, accused of running a death squad, arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday after a four-day visit to neighboring Qatar, a top Saudi official told Agence France Presse.

"The vice president has arrived in the kingdom and he has met with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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At Least 44 Syrians Dead amid Clashes, Military Operations

Syria security forces killed at least 44 people on Wednesday, amid fierce clashes and fresh military operations, activists said.

Fifteen people were killed in an explosion that destroyed two buildings in the Damascus suburb of Beit Sahem, while 21 people were shot dead in Homs, six in Idlib and two in Hama, the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said.

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Iran 'Advises' GCC States against Hosting U.S. Missile Shield

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi on Wednesday "advised" neighboring Arab states in the Gulf not to adopt a missile shield project being promoted by the United States.

"From the start we have rejected such a project, which is contrary to regional security, and we advise our friends to not take part in such a game," Vahidi was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

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Israel Unveils Tenders for 1,121 New Settler Homes

Israel's government on Wednesday published tenders for 1,121 new settler homes as it faced settler anger over its decision to evict Israeli families from a disputed home in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Documents published on the Israeli housing ministry website showed the government had issued tenders for 872 new homes in Har Homa, a contentious settlement neighborhood in the southern part of Arab east Jerusalem.

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International Red Cross Chief Visits Syria's Daraa

International Committee of the Red Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger traveled on Wednesday to Daraa to assess the humanitarian needs in the birthplace of Syria's year-long uprising, the ICRC said.

Two lorries filled with food aid and hygiene kits, as well as 500 blankets, were unloaded at Red Cross depots in Daraa ready for distribution, ICRC spokesman in Damascus Saleh Dabbakeh told Agence France Presse.

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Gazan Found Dead after Overnight Border Clash

Palestinian medics on Wednesday found the body of a Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli troops overnight east of Gaza City, close to the border, a spokesman said.

"The body of a Palestinian martyr who was killed by Israeli fire was found at dawn to the east of Gaza City's cemetery," said emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya.

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