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Britain to Upgrade Palestinian Diplomatic Status

Britain will upgrade the status of the Palestinian delegation to London to the level of a mission in line with a number of other EU countries, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Monday.

"Given the extent of our aid to the Palestinian Authority and our work with them, we will join many other countries in upgrading the status of the Palestinian delegation to London to the level of a mission," he told parliament.

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Palestinians Stage Demo to Protest 'Despicable' Obama U.N. Veto

Around 3,000 Palestinians gathered in the West Bank on Sunday to protest against the U.S. veto that nixed a Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements.

The crowd massed in Ramallah's Manara Square, a central roundabout in the West Bank city, waving banners and shouting slogans against the American administration.

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Greece Upgrades Palestinian Representation Status

Greece became the sixth European country to upgrade the diplomatic status of the Palestinian Authority Tuesday, accepting formal ambassador credentials from the Palestinian envoy to Athens.

"I am very proud to be the first Palestinian ambassador to present my credentials to his excellency the president of the Greek republic," the envoy Samir Abu Ghazaleh said, after handing his letters of credence to Greek President Carolos Papoulias.

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In Jerusalem, EU's Ashton Says Peace Possible by Sept

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Tuesday said the international community still sought to achieve a peace deal and a Palestinian state by September, despite the region's political turmoil.

Despite the impasse in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the resignation of the Palestinian cabinet as well as Saab Erakat, their chief negotiator, Ashton said the goal was still achievable.

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Greek Police Arrest Suspected Fatah al-Islam Militant

Police in Greece have arrested a young Palestinian identified in reports as an alleged member of Fatah al-Islam, a police source said Sunday.

Ghaleb Taleb was arrested in Athens and will be deported for illegal entry into the country following questioning by police, the source told Agence France Presse.

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Abbas Tasks Fayyad with Forming New Government

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday reappointed Salam Fayyad as premier and tasked him with forming a new government after his cabinet resigned, an official said.

"Abbas reappointed Fayyad and asked him to form a new government," a senior official in the president's office told Agence France Presse shortly after Fayyad's cabinet resigned en masse.

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Gadhafi Urges Refugee 'March on Palestine'

Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi has urged Palestinian refugees to take advantage of current unrest sweeping across the Arab world and stage a march on the Palestinian territories.

"In the context of the popular Arab revolutionary movement, the Palestinian refugees... must march on Palestine, along with their families," he said in a speech to thousands of supporters marking the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.

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Palestinians Banned from Entering Egypt

Immigration officers have been instructed to bar Palestinians from entering Egypt, an official at Cairo airport said on Wednesday after 12 travelers were sent back.

"There are instructions to stop Palestinians entering Egypt. Twelve Palestinians were sent back to the places they came from on Wednesday," the official told Agence France Presse, on condition of anonymity.

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Israel Restricts Access to Al-Aqsa to Avert Pro-Egypt Revolt Demos

Access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound was restricted on Friday in a bid to prevent demonstrations in support of the Egyptian uprising after Muslim prayers, police said.

"This Friday, we are forbidding access to the compound to men under 50 years old carrying an Israeli identity card," Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Agence France Presse.

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In Israel, Merkel Urges Quick Restart of Peace Talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to seek a swift revival of peace talks with the Palestinians citing regional unrest as cause for urgency.

At a joint press conference with Netanyahu on the first day of a visit to Tel Aviv that included a joint German-Israeli cabinet meeting, she spoke of "troubled times" against a backdrop of civil revolt in Egypt and Tunisia.

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