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Two decades of secret Israeli-Palestinian accords leaked to media worldwide

Al Jazeera leaks documentsAl-Jazeera TV begins leaking 1,600 secret documents: PA agreed to concede almost all of East Jerusalem to Israel, accept Israeli demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Al-Jazeera TV and The Guardian revealed Sunday the details of 1,600 confidential documents on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the last two decades. The documents leaked so far mostly reveal secret concessions offered by Palestinian negotiators on the issues of the right of return of Palestinian refugees, territorial concessions, and the recognition of Israel.

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Former U.S. Congressman, Bob Barr, assisting Duvalier

Bob BarrA former U.S. congressman was among a group of American attorneys accompanying former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier as he spoke in the country's capital Friday.

Former Republican Congressman Bob Barr said he is not serving as Duvalier's attorney, but is in Port-au-Prince to consult, assist and be Duvalier's voice to the international community. Barr represented Georgia's 7th District in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, and was the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee in 2008. He currently practices law and runs a consulting firm based in Atlanta.

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UN chief: Settlements are illegal, hamper peace efforts

Ban Ki-moonUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slammed Israel's refusal to halt West Bank settlement building, saying that this refusal seriously hampered peace talks with the Palestinians, AFP reported on Friday.

"Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law, contravene the Road Map obligations of Israel, undermine confidence, prejudge the outcome of the permanent status negotiations and hamper efforts at bringing the parties back to the negotiating table," he told a UN committee dealing with Palestinian issues on Friday.

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Medvedev: As we did in 1988, Russia still recognizes an independent Palestine

Russia recognizes Palestinian stateRussian President Dmitry Medvedev endorsed a Palestinian state on Tuesday, saying Moscow had recognized independence in 1988 and was not changing the position adopted by the former Soviet Union.

Making his first visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank as Russian head of state, Medvedev stopped short of issuing a ringing declaration of recognition of Palestinian statehood by the modern Russian Federation which he represents.

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Israel destroys East Jerusalem hotel for settlements

Hotel demolished in E. JerusalemIsraeli bulldozers have demolished part of a hotel in East Jerusalem to make way for 20 homes for Jewish settlers. The destruction of the Shepherd Hotel has angered Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The Palestinian leadership said Israel was destroying any chance of returning to peace. The US called the demolition a "disturbing development". Israel says it has a right to build homes in any part of the city.

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IDF says it regrets killing civilian in Hebron raid, but defends operation

Wife of Palestinian man killed by IDF - AFP - Jan 5 2011 	  The wife of Amr Qawasme, the 65-year-old Palestinian killed by IDF troopThe Israel Defense Forces said on Friday that it regrets the killing of a Palestinian man who was shot during a raid on a Hamas cell in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Amr Qawasme, a 65-year-old Hebron resident, was killed early Friday during an IDF raid during which six Hamas members were re-arrested after being released by the Palestinian Authority the previous day. Medical sources said Qawasme, who was unarmed at the time, was brought dead to hospital with several bullet wounds to the upper part of his body. They said the man had been shot in a building the soldiers had raided to arrest one of the Hamas members.

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WikiLeaks: Israel charged bribes for Gaza access

GazaA U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday quoted American officials as saying a key Israeli cargo crossing for goods entering the Gaza Strip was rife with corruption.

The June 14, 2006, cable, published Thursday by Norway's Aftenposten daily, says major American companies told U.S. diplomats they were forced to pay hefty bribes to get goods into Gaza. It was unclear whether the practice still continues.

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