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Palestinian reconciliation may 'complicate' US peace efforts

The United States on Wednesday warned that a deal to form a Palestinian unity government could seriously hamper its efforts to forge a peace deal with Israel. Any Palestinian government must commit "unambiguously" to the principles of non-violence and to the existence of Israel, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, restating a long-held US position. "Absent a clear commitment to those principles, this could seriously complicate our efforts to extend the negotiations," she told reporters. jkb/sst

Israeli air strike in Gaza wounds 12: medical officials

GAZA (Reuters) - Israel launched an air strike on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip, wounding 12 civilians including children and apparently missing its target, medical officials in the Hamas-ruled territory and Israeli reports said. The Israeli military said it had carried out a "counter-terrorism operation" in the northern Gaza Strip. It said "a hit was not identified," suggesting that the militant being targeted may have eluded the attack.

Bomb kills police general in Cairo

A police brigadier general was killed when a bomb exploded under his car on Wednesday, security officials said, in the fifth such targeted attack in Egypt's capital within a week. The blast in the upscale western suburb of October 6 killed Ahmed Zaki, a commander of Egypt's central security forces who have spearheaded a crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Militants have launched scores of attacks mainly targeting security forces since the military deposed Morsi last July after massive protests calling for his resignation.

Israel must take on Palestinian governance if talks fail: Abbas

By Ali Sawafta RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Israeli journalists on Tuesday that if peace talks do not continue, Israel will have to take on the burden of governing Palestinian lands. Though Abbas has repeatedly hinted that he could devolve some of the limited powers his Palestinian Authority exercises in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, his statement added urgency to a U.S. effort to extend negotiations set to expire next week.

Supreme Court takes up status of Jerusalem

The US Supreme Court Monday decided to hear the case of an American born in Jerusalem, once again taking up the sensitive issue of the status of the contested city. The justices will hear arguments in the case in the fall before deciding on the constitutionality of a 2002 law that directs the State Department to give Israel as the country of birth in passports of Americans born in Jerusalem. At the center of the struggle between the Congress and the presidency is Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002 to two American parents.

Supreme Court takes up status of Jerusalem

The US Supreme Court Monday decided to hear the case of an American born in Jerusalem, once again taking up the sensitive issue of the status of the contested city. The justices will hear arguments in the case in the fall before deciding on the constitutionality of a 2002 law that directs the State Department to give Israel as the country of birth in passports of Americans born in Jerusalem. At the center of the struggle between the Congress and the presidency is Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002 to two American parents.

Gaza rockets hit south Israel, army strikes back: officials

GAZA (Reuters) - Seven rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel during the Jewish Passover holiday on Monday, drawing retaliatory air strikes from the Israeli army, officials said, the first cross-border clash in several weeks. Israel's army said its strikes hit two training camps run by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that controls Gaza. Medical sources there said two Hamas militants were lightly wounded.

Supreme Court to review Jerusalem birthplace law

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to weigh the constitutionality of a U.S. law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem - the historic holy city claimed by Israelis and Palestinians - to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza into Israel

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired seven rockets into Israel on Monday but caused no casualties, the army said. It said the projectiles fell in the Negev region of southern Israel, with two of them fired at the desert town of Sderot. Police said in a statement that a road in a residential neighbourhood of Sderot was slightly damaged. An army statement said that prior to the rocket barrage militants fired an anti-tank missile at an army patrol on the border fence but caused no injuries or damage.

Top Palestinian cleric says Israel threw stun grenades into al Aqsa; Israel denies

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The most senior Islamic cleric in Jerusalem said on Sunday Israeli police hurled stun grenades into al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, to quell the latest in a string of Palestinian protests at the politically sensitive holy site. Israeli police denied the allegation, saying officers threw the non-lethal devices, which emit a loud noise, on a plaza outside the mosque after protesters threw rocks and firecrackers at them.
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