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Israeli-hit Damascus airport to reopen on Thursday

Damascus airport is due to reopen on Thursday, almost two weeks after Israeli strikes rendered its runways unusable, the Syrian transport ministry said.

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Kuwait's crown prince dissolves parliament, calls elections

Kuwait's crown prince on Wednesday dissolved Parliament and called for early elections, a move to ease government gridlock that has bred popular opposition and paralyzed the tiny country for months.

In his televised national address, the 81-year-old Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Jaber said that while the ruling family respected Kuwait's constitution that grants the country's rowdy parliament more power than elsewhere in the autocratic region of Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, popular dissatisfaction over the deepening dysfunction compelled the emir to intervene.

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Militants ambush security post in Yemen; 8 killed

Suspected al-Qaida militants on Wednesday attacked a security post in a southern Yemeni province, sparking clashes that left five troops and three militants dead, officials said.

The early morning attack took place in Ataq, the capital of the mountainous province of Shabwa, the officials said. At least four other troops were wounded in the attack, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the press.

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Israel lawmakers take 1st step toward dissolving parliament

Israeli lawmakers voted in favor of dissolving parliament in a preliminary vote on Wednesday, setting the wheels in motion to send the country to its fifth national election in just over three years.

The motion was the first step in a series of votes before the formal disbanding of the government. It came two days after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced he was disbanding his unraveling governing coalition of eight ideologically diverse parties just over a year after he took office.

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Palestinians say man stabbed to death by Israeli settler

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a man has died after being stabbed by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank. Israeli police said they did not yet know the identity of the stabber.

The ministry said Ali Hassan Harb was stabbed in the chest. Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, said he was 27.

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Israelis train in ghost town dubbed 'Mini Gaza'

The Muslim call to prayer echoes through a remote town in southern Israel that has known only war.

Its 500 buildings, the tallest eight stories high, are deserted. Its narrow alleys are adorned with militant murals and posters honoring slain Palestinian fighters. It cannot be found on any map.

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Lapid, set to be Israel's next premier, faces critical test

In a 10-year political career, Israel's Yair Lapid has transformed himself from an upstart political novice to a feisty opposition leader to the savvy operator who toppled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Next week, he is expected to assume his biggest role yet — as the new prime minister.

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Saudi crown prince arrives in Turkey for first visit since Khashoggi murder

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday arrived in Turkey, a Turkish official said, making his first visit since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

The oil-rich kingdom's de facto leader is due to hold a private meeting and dinner with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, marking a crucial rapprochement between the Sunni Muslim powers after a decade of hostile relations.

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Tunisia's Saied confirms no state religion in new charter

Tunisian President Kais Saied confirmed Tuesday that a draft constitution to be put to a referendum on July 25 will not enshrine Islam as the "religion of the state".

"The next constitution of Tunisia won't mention a state with Islam as its religion, but of belonging to an umma (community) which has Islam as its religion," he told journalists at Tunis airport.    

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Israel's 'change' govt brought down by Palestinian conflict

Israel's unlikely coalition government, the first ever backed by an Arab party, was forged a year ago to oust right-wing premier Benjamin Netanyahu, but ultimately collapsed over the Palestinian conflict.

As a result, Israel looks headed for new elections -- the fifth in less than four years -- and the threat of widening fissures between the groups that made up the eight-party "change" alliance.

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