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Israel PM: Peace deal would provoke Hamas, Hezbollah

Any peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would draw attacks from radical groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, meaning the Jewish state must keep security in its own hands, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. If Israel signed a peace agreement it would "most certainly come under attack by Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda and others," the prime minister told delegates at the annual convention of the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby in Washington. hmw/dc

Hamas says Egypt ban serves Israeli occupation

Hamas on Tuesday slammed an Egyptian court's decision to ban the activities of the Palestinian Islamist movement governing Gaza, saying it "serves" the group's arch-enemy Israel. "Any decision such as this is an attempt to besiege the resistance, and serves the Israeli occupation," Bassem Naim, a senior official in Hamas, told AFP. az-jad/jk

Hamas condemns Egypt court ruling banning the group: spokesman

GAZA (Reuters) - The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas condemned the decision of an Egyptian court on Tuesday to ban its activities there, saying it targeted the Palestinian cause, an official told Reuters. "The decision harms the image of Egypt and its role towards the Palestinian cause. It reflects a form of standing against Palestinian resistance," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Gaza-based militant organization. (Reporting By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Michael Georgy)

Hezbollah vows response to 'Israeli air strike'

Hezbollah on Wednesday threatened to retaliate after Israel's first reported air raid targeting a position of the Lebanese Shiite movement since a 2006 war. The statement comes two days after Israeli warplanes struck a Hezbollah position in eastern Lebanon, amid fears that the region may be dragged into further conflict. "On Monday night... the Israeli enemy's warplanes bombarded a Hezbollah position on the Lebanese-Syrian border, near the area of Janta in the Bekaa Valley" of eastern Lebanon, Hezbollah said.

Hezbollah vows response to 'Israeli air strike'

Hezbollah on Wednesday confirmed an Israeli air raid two days earlier on one of its positions in Lebanon and vowed to respond "at the appropriate time" to the "blatant aggression". "On Monday night... the Israeli enemy's warplanes bombarded a Hezbollah position on the Lebanese-Syrian border, near the area of Janta in the Bekaa Valley" in eastern Lebanon, said Hezbollah. The Shiite movement's statement was the group's first admission it had been targeted in the raid, although Lebanese sources had previously reported the attack.

Kerry to visit Paris for global meet on Lebanon

US Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Paris next week for talks on helping Lebanon cope with the overspill from the conflict in neighboring Syria, a US diplomat said Tuesday. In a letter to his newly named Lebanese counterpart, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced Thursday that the next meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon group would take place on March 5.

Bulgaria says identified third suspect in Burgas bus bombing

SOFIA (Reuters) - A third suspect has been identified in the bombing of a bus that killed five Israeli tourists in the Black Sea city of Burgas in 2012 that Bulgarian authorities have blamed on the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The tourists had arrived on a charter flight from Israel and were in the bus in the airport car park when the blast tore through the vehicle, also killing the Bulgarian driver and wounding more than 30 people.

4 Dead in attack near Iranian institution in Lebanon

Beirut, Feb 19 (EFE).- At least four people were killed and a hundred others injured Wednesday when two car bombs were detonated near the Iranian cultural center in a Shiite neighborhood of the Lebanese capital. The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a group linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack in Beirut's Bir Hassan district, which also hosts the Kuwaiti Embassy. Lebanon's security minister, Wael Abu Faur, initially spoke of five fatalities, but later reduced the official death toll to four, though police sources told Efe that seven people died.

Iran condemns Beirut bombings, blames Israeli 'agents'

Iran's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday condemned a double suicide car bombing near an Iranian cultural centre in Beirut, blaming Israeli "agents" for the attack that left four people dead. "There is no doubt that perpetrators of this terrorist act are the enemies of stability, security and unity of Lebanon," ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in a statement carried by the official IRNA news agency.

Al Qaeda-linked group claims Beirut bombings

By Erika Solomon BEIRUT (Reuters) - The al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed a twin bomb attack in Beirut on Wednesday, saying such attacks would continue until Hezbollah forces withdrew from the fighting in Syria and its own fighters were released from Lebanese jails.
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