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Israeli Jets Bomb Gaza after Rocket Attack on Beersheva

Israeli jets bombed several Hamas camps in the Gaza Strip early Thursday after Palestinians fired a rocket that slammed into a house in a southern Israeli city, the military said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the air force strikes or from the rocket that landed in the city of Beersheva, the first time the city has been targeted since Israel's devastating 2009 Gaza offensive.

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Israeli Tank Fire Injures 11 Palestinians in Gaza

An Israeli tank wounded eleven Palestinians, two critically, when it opened fire on a group of militants east of Gaza City on Wednesday, an emergency services spokesman said.

"Eleven Palestinians were injured by tank shell in an area east of Gaza City. Two of them are in critical condition," Adham Abu Selmiya of the Hamas-run rescue service told Agence France Presse, saying they had been taken to the city's Shifa hospital.

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NATO 'Monitoring' Syria-Bound Iranian Warships

The NATO military alliance said Wednesday it was monitoring two Iranian warships that have entered the Mediterranean Sea, a presence that has unnerved Israel.

"We follow events in the region and we follow these two Iranian warships with as much interest as we do any other warships in the region," said NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu.

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Gadhafi Faces EU Sanctions Calls over 'Bloodbath'

Europe moved Wednesday to isolate Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, with France calling for sanctions and a freeze in financial relations while Italy accused the veteran strongman of perpetrating a bloodbath.

With hundreds killed in a week of raging protests, Europe has struggled with how to exercise leverage against Gadhafi, in power for more than 41 years and whose country provides Europe with a large slice of its energy needs.

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Libyan Fighter Jet Crashes near Benghazi as Pilot Rejects to Bomb City

A fighter pilot disobeyed orders on Wednesday to bomb the opposition stronghold of Benghazi and ditched his plane after he and his co-pilot ejected, a Libyan newspaper reported on its website.

The Russian-made Sukhoi 22 crashed near Ajdabiya, 160 kilometers west of the city which has fallen to anti-regime protesters, a military source said, quoted in Quryna newspaper.

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Ahmadinejad: Mideast Upheaval will Reach America

Iran's president said Wednesday he is certain the wave of unrest in the Middle East will spread to Europe and North America, bringing an end to governments he accused of oppressing and humiliating people.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose own country resorted to violence to disperse an opposition rally earlier this month, also condemned Libya's use of force against demonstrators, calling it "grotesque."

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King Abdullah Flies Home after Treatment in Morocco

King Abdullah Returns to Riyadh, Boosts Social Benefits

Saudi King Abdullah arrived in his homeland Wednesday after three months abroad, boosting social benefits for his people as he returned to a Middle East rocked by anti-regime uprisings.

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Bahrain Frees 23 Shiites Accused of Terror

Bahraini authorities have released 23 Shiite activists who were being held on charges of terrorism after a pardon by King Hamad, an opposition MP told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.

"The 23 have been released," said MP Jassem Hussein, a member of the Islamic National Accord Association, which controls the largest bloc in the 40-strong parliament.

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Arab League Bars Libya from Meetings as Security Council Holds Crisis Talks

The Arab League on Tuesday barred Libya from its meetings until Tripoli responds to the demands of protesters, threatening to suspend its membership after clashes that have killed hundreds.

The League decided to "stop the government of Libya from participating in meetings of the Arab League and all bodies affiliated to it, until the Libyan authorities respond to demands, guaranteeing the security and stability of its people," it said in a statement.

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Defiant Gadhafi Vows 'Holy March' to Crush Revolt, Slams Protesters as 'Rats'

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight on to his "last drop of blood" and roared at his supporters to take to the streets against protesters demanding his ouster, shouting and pounding his fist in a furious speech Tuesday after two nights of a bloody crackdown in the capital trying to crush the uprising that has fragmented his regime.

It was the second time Gadhafi has appeared during the week of upheaval across his country. Swathed in brown robes and a turban, he spoke on state TV from behind a podium in the entrance of his bombed-out Tripoli residence hit by U.S. airstrikes in the 1980s and left unrepaired as a monument of defiance.

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