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Chaotic wave of attacks, reprisals in Middle East fuel worries of broader regional war

A barrage of U.S., coalition and militant attacks in the Middle East over the last five days are compounding U.S. fears that Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza could expand, as massive military strikes failed to stall the assault on Red Sea shipping by Yemen-based Houthis.

Even as the U.S. and allies pummeled more than two dozen Iran-backed Houthi locations on Friday in retaliation for attacks on ships, the Houthis have continued their maritime assaults. And Tehran struck sites in Iraq and Syria, claiming to target an Israeli "spy headquarters," then followed that Tuesday with reported missile and drone attacks in Pakistan.

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As Israel-Hamas war reaches 100-day mark, here's the conflict by numbers

Now 100 days old, the latest Israel-Hamas war is by far the longest, bloodiest, and most destructive conflict between the bitter enemies.

The fighting erupted on Oct. 7 when Hamas carried out a deadly attack in southern Israel. Since then, Israel has relentlessly pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and a ground offensive that have wrought unprecedented destruction, flattening entire neighborhoods. The offensive has displaced the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza, shuttered operations in more than half of Gaza's hospitals and caused widespread hunger, U.N. monitors say.

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Genocide case against Israel: Where does the rest of the world stand on the momentous accusations?

South Africa says more than 50 countries have expressed support for its case at the United Nations' top court accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians in the war in Gaza.

Others, including the United States, have strongly rejected South Africa's allegation that Israel is violating the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Many more have remained silent.

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Attacks on Red Sea shipping mount, but confronting Houthis carries risks

A spate of attacks by Yemeni rebels on Red Sea shipping has disrupted the vital trade route, but experts say stopping them appears difficult at best -- and risky at worst.

Dozens of drone and missile attacks have been launched on ships by the Huthis, part of the Iran-backed "axis of resistance" reinvigorated by Israel's war on Hamas.

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South Africa accuses Israel of genocide. What can the UN do about it?

Israel will defend itself in the United Nations' highest court starting Thursday against allegations that its military campaign in Gaza amounts to genocide.

South Africa asked the International Court of Justice to consider Israel's actions in light of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, drawn up in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust.

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Mandela's support for Palestine endures with South Africa genocide case against Israel

Barely two weeks after he was released from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela flew to Zambia to meet with African leaders who had supported his fight against South Africa's apartheid system of forced racial segregation.

One figure stood out among the men in dark suits eagerly waiting to greet Mandela on the airport tarmac: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, wearing his black and white checkered keffiyeh headdress, had traveled to see the newly freed Mandela.

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Why both Israel and Hezbollah are eager to avoid escalation into full-war

Asher Kaufman, University of Notre Dame

The killing of a Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon on Jan. 8, 2024, has raised concern that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could escalate into a regional war.

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Who was Wissam Tawil, top Hezbollah commander killed in south Lebanon?

The elite Hezbollah commander who was killed in an Israeli airstrike Monday in southern Lebanon fought for the group for decades and took part in some of its biggest battles.

Wissam al-Tawil, a 48-year-old commander in Hezbollah's secretive Radwan Force deployed along the border with Israel, was killed when the strike hit his SUV in his hometown of Khirbet Silem. The strike was about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border, beyond the villages and towns that have witnessed the two sides exchange fire over the past three months.

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From Houthis to Hezbollah, a look at Iran-allied groups around Middle East

Missiles, rockets and drones struck targets around the Middle East this week as the United States, Israel and others clashed with Iran-allied militant groups — with attacks hitting in vital Red Sea shipping lanes, along Israeli-Lebanon borders emptied by fleeing residents and around the region's crowded capitals and U.S. military installations.

Together, Israel and its U.S. allies were facing two realities they knew all too well going into the war in Gaza: The Gaza-based Hamas militant group is far from alone as it battles for its survival. And by launching an all-out campaign to eliminate Hamas as a fighting force, Israeli and American leaders also are confronting simultaneous attacks from a strengthening defensive alliance of other armed militant groups linked with Hamas and Iran.

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Who was Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas deputy killed in Lebanon?

Saleh al-Arouri, the senior Hamas official killed in a suspected Israeli strike in Lebanon, played a key role in building up the Palestinian group's military capabilities and its links with regional allies.

Arouri, 57, was one of the founders of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in the early 1990s.

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