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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Latest developments in the Middle East

July 27 (Reuters) - Here are developments in the Middle East on the 16th day of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon.

* Lebanon says 16 days of Israeli bombardment kill up to 600 people in Lebanon.

* Israel pounds south Lebanon, trapping civilians in isolated villages where bodies lay in the streets.

* Israel's inner cabinet decides to continue the current limited incursions into Lebanon rather than launching a bigger ground offensive against Hizbollah, a political source says.

* Hizbollah fires dozens of rockets into northern Israel, wounding four people. More than 1,400 rockets have hit the Jewish state since conflict began.

* Al Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al Zawahri warns his group will not stand by and watch Israel bombard Lebanon and the Palestinians, calling on Muslims in a video to fight attacks on their countries.

* A diplomatic divide over how to end the fighting in Lebanon widens with France pressing for an early U.N. cease-fire resolution while the United States aims new threats at Iran and Syria.

* U.S. President George W. Bush says he wants an end to conflict as soon as possible but not a "fake peace" that would only delay fighting.

* Italy's foreign minister says Lebanon crisis conference call for restraint from Israel has fallen on deaf ears.

* Diplomacy moves to Malaysia with Iran's foreign minister due to visit as country hosts security meeting to be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

* Israel's army believes it has killed dozens of Hizbollah guerrillas during fighting in south Lebanon over the past day, Israeli military source says.

* At least 437 Lebanese, most of them civilians, and 51 Israelis have been confirmed killed in conflict.

* Israeli shell kills 75-year-old woman at her home in Gaza Strip, a day after 24 Palestinians were killed during clashes with Israeli troops, Palestinian emergency services say.

* Hamas dismisses comment from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that a solution could be imminent in the case of captured Israeli soldier.
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