Palestinians – Security:
Palestinian security officials say they have foiled an attempt to kill a top security commander loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, a day after another assassination attempt on one of his allies.
Officials say security forces found and defused a 70 kilogram bomb next to the home of Rashid Abu Shbak, the overall head of the Palestinian security services.
Abu Shbak is considered one of the most powerful figures in Mr. Abbas' Fatah movement, which is locked in a vicious power struggle with the ruling radical Islamist movement Hamas.
Israel – Palestinians: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has met with top Israeli officials in Egypt, the highest-level meeting between the two sides since the militant Hamas organization took control of the Palestinian government in March.
Mr. Abbas met with Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni today (Sunday) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Israeli foreign minister said she told Mr. Abbas Israel does not intend to punish the Palestinian people for choosing a Hamas-led government.
She said Israel had decided to release 11 million dollars in tax money it had withheld from the Palestinians in a bid to ease a deepening fiscal crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Iraq: Iraqi police say two roadside bombs have exploded in the capital, Baghdad, killing at least two people and wounding at least 21 others. Security officials say the blasts early today (Sunday) targeted a police patrols in separate parts of the city. The latest violence came as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepared to hold his first Cabinet meeting on Sunday, a day after parliament approved his national unity government.
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