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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Latest developments in the Middle East

Aug 5 (Reuters) - Here are developments on the 25th day of the Middle East crisis.

* The United States and France agree on a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for end to fighting between Israel and Hizbollah as first step toward a political settlement.

* The text of the draft resolution calls for a "full cessation of hostilities," tells Hizbollah to end attacks immediately and says Israel should stop "all offensive military operations."

* French and British officials at United Nations say Security Council will meet on Saturday to review text, which was expected to be adopted within next few days.

* U.S. President George W. Bush is happy with the draft US resolution, the White House says.

* British Prime Minister Tony Blair calls it vital first step to end crisis. He also says there could be a "cessation of hostilities" within days.

* A Hizbollah Cabinet minister says Hizbollah is willing to cease fire when Israel stops its assault on Lebanon and all Israeli soldiers leave Lebanese land.

* An Israeli Cabinet minister says time is running out for Israel's military campaign in Lebanon, following the completion of the draft UN resolution.

* Lebanon does not agree with the UN draft resolution to end the war, a source says.

* Hizbollah rockets kill three people in northern Israel and wound five, police and medics say.

* Israel warns residents of Sidon to evacuate south Lebanon's biggest city ahead of planned airstrikes on Hizbollah offices and rocket launching sites it said were located there.

* Conflict has killed at least 734 people in Lebanon and 78 Israelis.

* Helicopter-borne Israeli naval commandos attack Hizbollah guerrillas near the southern Lebanese city of Tyre overnight; Israeli military says eight commandos wounded.
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