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Tunisia Sacks 4 Policemen over Ramadan 'Abuse'

Four Tunisian police who harassed coffee shop owners who stay open during daylight hours in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan have been sacked, officials said Thursday.

The interior ministry said in a statement that the district chief for Monastir in central Tunisia and three policemen from Marsa, a northern suburb of Tunis, were sacked for "abuse of power".

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U.N. Pushes Saudi Coalition to Allow Ships into Yemen

Commercial cargo ships carrying food, fuel and other vital supplies must be allowed to reach ports in Yemen which is threatened by famine, the U.N. Security Council said Thursday.

The Saudi-led coalition battling Shiite Huthi rebels in Yemen has imposed maritime controls that U.N. diplomats have described as a blockade preventing imports from reaching Yemen.

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Key Muslim Body al-Azhar Condemns 'Sick' Mohammed Cartoons

The leading Sunni Muslim seat of learning, Al-Azhar, on Thursday denounced the "sick imagination" behind cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that were aired on Dutch national television.

A statement by the Cairo-based Al-Azhar also urged Muslims to "ignore this odious terrorist act", a day after some 10 cartoons were screened by anti-Islam Dutch politician Geert Wilders during a television slot for political parties.

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Netanyahu: Air Force Key in Meeting Future Iran Threat

Days before the deadline for an Iranian nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told young pilots Thursday that they would be at the forefront of safeguarding Israel.

"Foremost among the threats endangering our security is the Iranian effort to arm itself with a nuclear weapon," a statement from Netanyahu's office quoted him as telling newly-graduated pilots receiving their wings.

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Egypt, U.S. to Hold 'Strategic Dialogue' in July

Egypt and the United States will hold a "strategic dialogue" in July, the presidency announced Thursday, amid a growing rapprochement in ties strained after the army ousted president Mohamed Morsi two years ago.

Following the overthrow of Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, Washington froze $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Cairo.

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Poll: Israeli, Palestinian Support for Two States Slipping

A joint Israeli-Palestinian poll published Thursday shows dwindling support on both sides for a Palestinian state alongside Israel as a solution to the conflict.

The survey, by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, shows 51 percent of Israeli respondents in favor of what is known as the two-state solution, down from 62 percent last June.

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Israel Releases Prominent Hamas Official Year after Arrest

Israel on Thursday released a prominent Hamas leader in the West Bank, the Islamist group said, a year after his arrest along with hundreds of others following the killing of three Israeli teenagers.

Hamas says Hassan Yusef, who has spent years in Israeli jails and was elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006 while in Israeli custody, has worked entirely in the political wing of the movement.

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Palestinians Submit Evidence against Israel to International Court

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday presented a first batch of evidence to the International Criminal Court in support of its campaign to have Israel investigated for alleged war crimes.

"The state of Palestine has pledged to cooperate with the court including by providing it with relevant information and it is fulfilling its pledge today," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki told journalists after leaving the court.

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Drone from Gaza Crashes in Israel

A drone launched from the Gaza Strip crashed inside Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, the third such incursion in just under a year, with previous incidents claimed by Hamas.

"Some kind of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was spotted entering Israeli airspace from the Strip," an army spokeswoman told AFP.

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Eritrean Protesters Demand Asylum in Israel

Hundreds of Eritrean asylum seekers protested in Israel Thursday to urge action against their country's regime and call for recognition as refugees.

Their demonstration came after the release of a U.N. report that provided damning details on alleged human rights abuses in the Horn of Africa nation, and with thousands of Eritreans seeking asylum in the Jewish state.

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