weekend wrap 88.
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Explosion kills Islamic Jihad leader in Lebanon
Mahmoud Majzoub, an Islamic Jihad leader, and his brother were killed in an explosion that took place in southern Lebanon on Friday. The movement blamed Israel for the blast and vowed to avenge their deaths. Majzoub survived the blast, but died of his wounds after he had been brought to a hospital. His brother was killed instantly.
Muslim leader condemns extremism
One of Egypt's leading Sheikhs on Friday called on Muslims to reject religious radicalism and terrorism as "evil" and reiterated that Islam espouses tolerance and moderation. In a speech delivered in Singapore, the religious leader urged the Muslim community to embrace scientific knowledge and education, noting that science had always been a part of what he called the "vision of Islam."
Hamas pulls controversial militia from the streets
Hamas decided to withdraw its controversial 3,000-member militia from the streets on Friday, but redeployed a smaller group the next day. The reduction of forces represented an attempt to calm the tense atmosphere in Gaza, characterized by bloody clashes between Hamas' militia and Palestinian Authority security forces.
Police place US Capitol under lockdown
Noises coming from repairs in one of the US Capitol building's elevators on Friday were mistaken for gunshots, and caused the closure of the building for several hours. Police forces surrounded the building, with four ambulances on standby. At the time of the incident, the Senate was in session, though the House of Representatives was not.
Three Palestinians killed in Gaza Blast
An explosion that took place in Gaza on Friday killed three Palestinians, including two brothers. IDF denied Palestinian claims that it was Israeli artillery that caused the deaths of the three. Earlier, a Palestinian was killed by IDF artillery. Also on Friday, three Kassam rockets were fired into Israel. No one was wounded by the attack.
Greece serving as mediator between Iran and Washington
Officials said on Friday that Iran had turned to Greece to help mediate messages between the Islamic republic and the United States. An American official said that Greece has had "good relations" with Iran. The Greek foreign minister met individually in recent weeks with both his American and Iranian counterparts.
Mormon database may have kept names of Holocaust victims
Jewish leaders claimed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints maintained a list of at least 1,500 Dutch Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, in order to baptize them after their deaths. Posthumous baptism is a sacred rite practiced in Mormon church temples for the purpose of offering membership in the church to the deceased. Research showed that names of Holocaust victims have been added in spite of a reported agreement with the church that the practice would stop.
Thousands killed in earthquake in Indonesia
Over 2,900 people were killed on Saturday morning and thousands more were injured when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck central Indonesia. It was feared that the trembler may cause the active Mount Merapi volcano to erupt, creating a much worse disaster. This was the country's worst disaster since the 2004 tsunami that claimed the lives of thousands of Indonesians and other visitors.
Gaza: Factions meet for discussion
Representatives of various Palestinian factions were scheduled to convene on Saturday to discuss the "prisoners' compromise," calling for a recognition of Israel in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. They were expected to set up a joint team to discuss the plan. On Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave Hamas a 10-day deadline to accept the proposal, otherwise, Abbas warned, he would take the issue to a national referendum.
IDF fires at suspicious ambulance
The IDF on Saturday fired upon a Palestinian ambulance transporting a woman in labor. No one was wounded when the soldiers fired at the approaching vehicle, but the driver said that the engine was damaged. The IDF said the ambulance aroused its suspicion when it repeatedly picked up and dropped off passengers.
Shahar Pe'er wins WTA Istanbul Cup Final
Shahar Pe'er won the biggest title of her career thus far when she took the WTA Istanbul Cup Finals. In the final match, the 19-year-old, who was seeded fourth, overtook the Russian Anastasia Myskina, defeating her in two of the three sets. Pe'er was ranked 33rd in the world before the win; her victory bumped her up into the top 30.