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Palestinian Official Dies after Beating by Israeli Troops, Abbas Says 'All Options Open' in Response to Incident

A senior Palestinian official died Wednesday after he was struck by Israeli forces during a protest march in the West Bank, prompting international calls for an investigation into the incident.

The Palestinian leadership vowed to respond to what President Mahmoud Abbas called the "brutal assault" on Ziad Abu Ein, who was in charge of the issue of Israeli settlements for the Palestinian Authority (PA).

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Berri Optimistic about Hizbullah-Mustaqbal Dialogue, Says Not in Full Agreement with Jumblat over Hostages

Speaker Nabih Berri has denied that the much anticipated dialogue between Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal movement would be postponed over differences on the agenda of the talks.

In remarks published in local dailies on Wednesday, Berri said: “I am 100 percent reassured and hope the first session would be held by the end of the year.”

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Girault Continues Meetings with Officials, Presidential Elections a Focal Point

The series of meetings held by the director of the department of the Middle East and North Africa at the French Foreign Ministry, Jean-François Girault, with Lebanese officials since his arrival indirectly backed the election of MP Robert Ghanem as Lebanon's president, reported al-Akhbar daily.

On Tuesday, Girault continued his meetings with Lebanese politicians. He met with former President Michel Suleiman who praised “any effort that would lead to attending a parliament session to elect a president.”

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Report: Indirect Talks between FPM, LF Leaders under Bkirki's Auspices

An inter-Christian dialogue kicked off recently to bridge the gap between the rival parties, in particular, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces.

Ad Diyar newspaper reported on Tuesday that Maronite General Council Chairman former Minister Wadih Khazen is carrying indirect contacts between FPM chief Michel Aoun and LF leader Samir Geagea to reach common grounds on controversial issues, especially the presidential elections.

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Israel on Alert on Lebanon Border as Minister Stresses 'Policy' to Stop Arms Transfers to Hizbullah

Israeli troops on Monday went on alert along the border with Lebanon over fears of a military operation as a cabinet minister stressed that the Jewish State has a policy of preventing arms transfers to Hizbullah.

The state-run National News Agency said Israeli soldiers were on alert mainly in the area of the Shabaa Farms.

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Berri: Israel Started Stealing Lebanon's Gas

Speaker Nabih Berri revealed on Monday that Israel has already started stealing amounts of Lebanon's offshore gas, expressing astonishment at the government’s “lack of interest,” al-Akhbar daily reported.

The Speaker told the daily that he received almost certain information from an international scientific figure that Israel is stealing Lebanon's gas from a basin near the maritime borders with occupied Palestine, and at cut-rate expenses.

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Berri, Jumblat Criticize Performance of Arsal Hostages Committee

Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat have expressed anger at the performance of a committee tasked with resolving the crisis of Lebanese hostages.

The meetings of the committee, which is made up of ministers and security officials, haven't made progress, Berri told his visitors.

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Blamed for Syria Strikes, Israel Vows to Stop Arms to 'Terrorists'

Israel said Monday it will not allow "sophisticated weapons" to fall into the hands of its enemies, after furious claims from Syria that Israeli warplanes carried out air strikes near Damascus.

Tel Aviv refused to confirm or deny the strikes, but its forces have previously targeted weapons allegedly destined for arch-foe Lebanon's Hizbullah.

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Farm Slaughtering 'Dead Cows' Shut as Tanmia Mortadella 'Meets Standards'

Health Ministry inspectors on Friday shut down a farm in the Bekaa region that was slaughtering “dead cows” and selling their meat, as the ministry announced that the Tanmia chicken firm has improved its mortadella section to meet the proper standards.

“A team of health inspectors from the Zahle district department raided a cow farm in the Bekaa area of Kfarzabad after suspecting that its owner was slaughtering dead cows there and selling their meat at his butchery that is located in Deir Zannoun, as well as to several other butcheries in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.

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Mashnouq Confirms Held Woman is Baghdadi's Divorcee, Slams Hizbullah Captive 'Showoff'

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq confirmed Wednesday that a woman detained in Lebanon is a divorcee of Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as he accused Hizbullah of staging a “showoff” stunt in the wake of the release of its captive fighter Imad Ayyad.

“The detained woman is a lady who has been married three times, one of them to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and they have a daughter from their marriage, the thing that has been confirmed through DNA tests,” Mashnouq said during an interview on MTV.

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