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MIDEAST FLASHPOINT
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Peres criticizes Israel's 'Jewish state' bill
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's former president has come out against a bill floated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that would define Israel as "the Jewish state."...

Pope condemns Islamic State violence
JERUSALEM (AP) -- On the eve of a trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis is urging religious and political leaders to speak out against attacks on Christians by Islamic State extremists....

Israel says it busted Hamas cell planning attacks
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's Shin Bet security service said Thursday it had uncovered a vast Hamas network in the West Bank that was planning large-scale attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem....

Brazen, beloved Lebanese singer Sabah dies at 87

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BEIRUT (AP) -- Beloved for her powerful voice and brazen in the conservative Arab world for her multiple marriages, Lebanese singer, actress and entertainer Sabah never seemed far from the limelight during her six-decade career....

Spy balloons give police new view of Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli police are watching from above in their attempts to keep control in Jerusalem in the face of the city's worst wave of violence in nearly a decade....

Europeans debate common stand on Palestine
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Frustrated by deadlock in the Middle East peace process, a growing number of European leaders and lawmakers are calling for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state....

Palestinian president against Jewish state bill
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he supports Israeli members of parliament who oppose the plan to formalize Israel's status as a Jewish state....

Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group

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TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) -- Jamal Hayak is finally fixing up his restaurant, damaged a month ago in clashes between the army and militants in this northern Lebanese city. But he has little doubt violence will erupt again, and he says he fears next time it will be Islamic State group fighters battling in Tripoli's streets....

'Jewish state' bill tests Israeli democracy

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- In the face of a rising wave of violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing forward a plan to formalize by law Israel's status as "the Jewish state." Netanyahu says it's a needed response to those who question Israel's right to exist. But the measure would anger Israel's Arab minority and could draw international condemnation, severely testing a delicate balance between democracy and the country's Jewish character. Here's a look at the debate:...

A look at US military action across the Mideast

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BAGHDAD (AP) -- Here's a look at U.S. military action across the Middle East:...