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France to Launch New U.N. Push for Israel-Palestinian Resolution

France plans to begin talks at the United Nations on a new Security Council resolution to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.

Fabius told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that discussions on a text would start "in the coming days."

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Tajikistan Fears for Citizens Trapped in Yemen

Tajikistan is seeking to evacuate some 100 medical workers and their families from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has launched air strikes against rebels, the foreign ministry said on Friday.

"All possible measures are being taken for the emergency evacuation of Tajik citizens from war-torn Yemen," Abulfaiz Atoev, a foreign ministry spokesperson, told AFP.

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Experts: Saudi Ground Troops Would Face Yemen 'Quagmire'

Saudi-led airstrikes alone are unlikely to crush Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels but a ground incursion would risk a bloody "quagmire" and escalating tensions with Tehran, experts say.

Saudi Arabia pledged to do "whatever it takes" to defend its ally President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after launching aerial raids against the Huthi Shiite fighters and their allies.

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Islamists Advance in Fierce Clashes for Syria's Idlib

Islamist rebels made fresh advances Friday on the edges of Idlib city in northwest Syria, after fierce clashes that have left dozens of dead, a monitoring group said.

"The fighters have advanced on the northwestern and southeastern sides of the city," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Hamas Denounces EU Decision to Keep It on Terror List

Hamas on Friday denounced a European Union decision to keep the Palestinian Islamist group and de facto Gaza Strip ruler on its terrorism blacklist, despite a court ordering its removal.

"This decision completely contradicts the court's ruling," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told Agence France-Presse.

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Palestinian Gets Two Life Terms for Israeli Settler Murder

An Israeli military court has handed down two terms of life imprisonment to a Palestinian who stabbed to death a Jewish woman settler, an army spokeswoman told Agence France Presse on Friday.

The court on Thursday sentenced Maher al-Hashlamoun, a member of Islamic Jihad from the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, after previously convicting him of murdering Dalia Lemkus, 26, as she waited at a bus stop outside Alon Shvut settlement in November.

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Syrian Army Turns to Women on Damascus Front Lines

Perched on a makeshift bench taking turns with a sniper rifle, the Syrian army's top markswomen await their "prey" on the front line in east Damascus.

Sergeant Rim, 20, and Chief Sergeant Samar, 21, belong to the First Women's Commando Brigade of the Republican Guard, an elite unit stationed on some of the most dangerous battlegrounds on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. 

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Israel Says Golan Resident Spied for Syria

Israel on Friday charged a Druze resident of the occupied Golan Heights with spying for Syria, the Shin Bet internal security service and police said.

A Shin Bet statement said that Sudki Sleiman Makat from the border village of Majdal Shams was charged with espionage, having contact with a foreign agent and passing information to the enemy in time of war.

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Rights Group Accuses Israel of War Crimes during Gaza War

The Israeli army committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during last year's offensive in Gaza, a rights group said on Friday. 

The 50-day military offensive in July and August 2014 -- code-named "Operation Protective Edge" --  "was marked by serious breaches of ... international human rights law," said the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).

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Turkey Army Chief Visits Historic Tomb inside Syria

Turkey's army chief General Necdet Ozel and top commanders have for the first time visited the new location of a historic tomb inside Syrian territory, the military said on Friday.

Army chief of staff Ozel and the land and air forces commanders on Thursday went inside Syria to visit the Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the Ottoman empire's founder Osman I.

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