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Iran launches unprecedented strikes on Israel, opening wider conflict

Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, the Israeli army announced late Saturday, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes.

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Biden expects Iran attack on Israel but warns 'will not succeed'

Residents have reported heavy Israeli fire in central Gaza, with regional tensions soaring after Iran threatened reprisals over a strike in Syria this month that killed two Iranian generals.

As talks for a truce and hostage release dragged on, fears that Iran could soon launch an attack on Israel prompted the United States to announce it was sending reinforcements to the Middle East as a deterrent.

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Israel pounds Gaza as Iran attack threat puts region on edge

Residents reported heavy Israeli fire in central Gaza on Friday, with regional tensions soaring after Iran threatened reprisals over a strike in Syria this month that killed two Iranian generals.

As ceasefire talks aiming to pause the six-month-old war dragged on, fears that Iran could soon launch an attack on Israel spurred France to recommend its citizens avoid travelling to the region.

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2 Palestinians killed and 3 injured in confrontations with Israeli forces in West Bank

Two Palestinians were killed early Friday in confrontations with Israeli forces in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics and the military said. The Islamic militant group Hamas said one of those killed was a local commander.

The raid took place in the town of Tubas and the adjacent refugee camp of al-Faraa. The Palestine Red Crescent Society confirmed the two deaths and said three people were wounded, including one who sustained serious injuries.

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France urges no travel to Iran, Lebanon, Israel and Palestinian territories

France on Friday warned its citizens to "imperatively refrain from travel in the coming days to Iran, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories," the foreign minister's entourage told AFP.

Iran has threatened reprisals against Israel over a strike on the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1 that killed seven Revolutionary Guards including two generals, sparking fears of an escalation of violence in the Middle East.

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Why Gaza truce talks are at an 'impasse'

They set themselves a 48-hour deadline earlier this week, but on Thursday neither Hamas nor Israel had shown any signs of agreeing to a truce in Gaza despite pressure from international mediators.

The United States, Egypt and Qatar put together a framework for a deal that would include a six-week halt to fighting and the exchange of about 40 hostages for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

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Hamas official says ceasefire needed to locate Gaza hostages

A senior Hamas official said Thursday that only a ceasefire can provide "enough time and safety" to locate Israeli hostages held across the Gaza Strip and ascertain their fate.

Negotiations for a ceasefire have been under way in Cairo since Sunday, but so far there has been no breakthrough on a proposal presented by U.S., Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

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Blinken asks China, others to rein in Iran on Israel

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has asked China's foreign minister and other counterparts to use their influence to dissuade Iran from striking Israel, the State Department said Thursday.

Blinken spoke by telephone over the past day to his Chinese, Turkish, Saudi and European counterparts "to make clear that escalation is not in anyone's interest and that countries should urge Iran not to escalate," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

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Gallant says Israel to 'flood Gaza with aid'

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said it is planning to flood starving Gaza with aid through a new crossing and a port just north of the besieged territory.

With Israel under severe international pressure to allow more food in, Gallant said it planned to ramp up aid deliveries to 500 trucks a day -- the pre-war figure cited by the U.N.

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Haniyeh says no change in truce position after sons killed

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh insisted that the death of three of his sons in an Israeli air strike would not influence truce talks in Gaza, as bombardments on Thursday rocked the Palestinian territory.

Israel confirmed the killings, which came as talks in Cairo for a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal drag on without signs of a breakthrough.

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