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Thu. March 5, 2015 EDITOR'S PICKS :  
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Issue: Israel's Jewish Identity. What Does it Mean?
MidEast Week
PA: Made "Generous" Offer; Israel: "Bring it to the Table"
Israel's Arab Parties United For Election
More Arabs Join Israel's National Service
Jews Killed in Paris Attack Buried in Israel
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Netanyahu's Planned Speech to Congress Sparks Controversy
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U.S. Official Shot Dead in Sudan

An American government official was killed on Tuesday in an attack on a diplomatic vehicle in Sudan. His Sudanese driver also died in the attack. The official was working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attack occurred one day after U.S. President George W. Bush approved a bill of divestment from Sudan. The new law, which allows states, localities, and private investors to cut investment ties with Sudan, is intended to pressure Khartoum into ending the conflict in Darfur a province in the west of the country. It is widely believed that more than 200,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Darfur, but the Sudanese government says the death toll is in fact much lower, closer to 9,000.

Six Palestinians Killed in Israeli Strikes in Gaza

Six Palestinians belonging to three terrorist factions were killed Wednesday morning in a joint Israeli air and ground action in the Gaza Strip near Gaza City. The five Palestinians, four from Hamas and one belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, died when Israeli ground forces called in air support after the Palestinians fired anti-tank rockets at the soldiers. The sixth, a member of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, died in a gun battle with Israeli troops.

Bush Will Hold Three-Way Session in Jerusalem

U.S. President George W. Bush will hold a three-way session with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas during his visit next week. Until now, it had not been known whether the president would hold only separate sessions or call a three-way event. American officials say the purpose of the session is to push ahead with the talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have failed to live up to the expectations surrounding the recent conference at Annapolis. In addition to hearing Palestinian complaints about Israeli building in post-1967 areas, President Bush is expected to hear Palestinian angst at Tuesday's statement by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak who said "The method of roadblocks has proven itself," and that their use will continue. Barak also promised that the Israeli army would try to alleviate inconveniences for Palestinians passing through them.

Israel: Soldiers Killed Friday Murdered by Palestinian Authority Employees

Israel's domestic security agency revealed on Tuesday that the two Israeli soldiers shot dead last Friday were killed by employees of the Palestinian Authority, including a security officer. The two off-duty soldiers were hiking near Hebron when they were attacked by four gunmen in a jeep. They managed to kill one and wound another before succumbing themselves. One of the shooters has been identified as a member of Fatah and an officer in the Palestinian national security forces, and the other as a Fatah member employed by the court system who is believed to have been linked to Palestinian intelligence. A member of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades told the Israeli website YNet that it was behind the attack. He said Hamas had only claimed responsibility at the request of one of the gunmen's families. The Media Line asked the Palestinian information minister about his statement last week announcing that the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades had been disbanded in light of at least two new attacks by Al Aqsa members. He stood by his statement saying the attacks were carried out by rogue members without authorization, but that the organization has ceased to exist.

Suicide Bomber Kills 30 at Baghdad Funeral

A suicide bomber struck on Tuesday at the funeral of an army officer killed by a suicide bomber last Friday. At least 30 died in the blast and more than 30 were wounded. The explosion occurred in the east Baghdad neighborhood of Zaytouna. The latest carnage came as Iraqi and American officials were distributing data showing a reduction in fatalities during 2007.
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