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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Latest developments in the Middle East

July 25 (Reuters) - Here are developments in the Middle East on the 14th day of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon.

* Olmert says he is determined to pursue offensive against Hizbollah guerrillas and meets Rice to discuss war in Lebanon.

* Fresh barrage of Hizbollah rockets slams into the northern Israeli city of Haifa, wounding at least five people.

* Israeli forces battle to take over a second Hizbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon, says 20-30 Hizbollah guerrillas killed in past 24 hours.

* Israeli foreign minister hopes an international conference on Lebanon this week will condemn Hizbollah as terrorists.

* Lebanon says will call for an immediate halt of Israeli hostilities in Lebanon on Wednesday in Rome.

* Rice puts forward proposals to Lebanon to end fighting, but insists ceasefire can come only as part of wider deal.

* Among issues on table are international force for south Lebanon, getting Hizbollah to move back from border and return of Israeli soldiers seized in cross-border raid.

* Death toll reaches 410 in Lebanon, 42 Israelis killed.

* Lebanon says a fifth of its population displaced.

* United States backs idea of humanitarian corridor to get help to needy in Lebanon. Olmert agrees to allow aid airlifts.

* Saudi Arabia's king warns of war in Middle East if Israel continues attacking Lebanon.

* Rice says there is a need to remain focused on establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

* Israel launches air strikes in the Gaza Strip, says it destroyed buildings used to store rockets and munitions belonging to Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. Residents say eight bystanders wounded.
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