Conflict in the Middle East Multimedia
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Since its founding in 1987, the Palestinian organization Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, has stood firm in its opposition to Israel. Years of suicide bombings against Israel has led the West to consider Hamas a terrorist organization, a label the group carried into electoral politics with its victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.
 
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Hezbollah, also known as the Party of God, was formed by Lebanese Shiites in response to the Israeli invasion of 1982. The Iranian-backed group has since grown as a "state within a state," drawing support from Lebanon's 1.2 million Shiite Muslims for its campaign against Israel.
 
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Lebanese refugees begin the journey back home and Israeli citizens abandon their bomb shelters as a U.N. brokered cease-fire aimed to end the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah takes effect.
 
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As world leaders consider intervention, protesters gather in countries across the world to condemn Israel's attacks in Lebanon.
 
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A huge international aid effort is beginning to take shape to assist people displaced by the war in southern Lebanon. But one of the largest aid operations is already underway. It comes from the same group currently fighting Israel, Hezbollah.
 
Qana, Lebanon, Unexploded Bomb
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An Israeli bomb remains unexploded in downtown Bint Jbeil, a site of heavy fighting between Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon.
 
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Traumatized Lebanese citizens emerge from their shelters after nearly three weeks of bombardment to find their villages and homes destroyed, as Israel puts a 48 hour hold to all air attacks to allow safe passage out of the area.
 
Qana, Lebanon
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The site in Qana, Lebanon, where dozens of civilians were killed July 30 in an Israeli airstrike. Israel said its attack on the three-story, concrete and cinder-block building came after rockets were fired from the area.
 
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For three weeks, Israeli forces have been pounding the Hezbollah stronghold of Bint Jbeil, Lebanon, where Hezbollah fighters have ferociously fought Israeli troops, killing at least 8. Israeli forces launched a ground assault on the border town a week and a half into the conflict before pulling back on July 29.
 
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For 12 years, Palestinian professor Manuel Hassassian and Israeli professor Edy Kaufman have found a peaceful middle ground in their college classroom. Their belief in open dialogue to solve the raging violece overseas has fueled their lectures and long-term friendship.
 
Lebanon, Downtown Bint Jbeil
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Bint Jbeil, a town known in Lebanon as Hezbollah's "capital of resistance," is in ruins after heavy fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah forces.
 
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Israeli warplanes blasted a group of buildings in the southern Lebanese village of Qana, killing dozens of people, most of them women and children. The Israeli military said the airstrike was aimed at destroying Hezbollah rocket launchers nearby and that civilians were not being targeted.
 
A seven-story building in Tyre, Lebanon, is reduced to rubble after an Israeli airstrike. The building housed the offices of a Hezbollah commander. The strike injured 16 people.
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A seven-story building in Tyre, Lebanon, is reduced to rubble after an Israeli airstrike. The building housed the offices of a Hezbollah commander. The strike injured 16 people.
 
Staying Behind in Southern Lebanon
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The exodus of hundreds of thousands from southern Lebanon has left villages and towns empty. But not everyone has left. Some stay because of pride, others because they can't afford the exorbitant cost of a taxi ride out. One group of Lebanese-Americans stayed in their native village near the coastal city of Tyre until Israeli tanks rolled in. They eventually escaped with assistance from the U.S. embassy.
 
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As the fighting and bombing intensifies in Lebanon and Israel, an urgently convened international conference in Rome ended in open disagreement, with the participating foreign ministers unable to settle on the timing of a cease-fire.
 
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Nearly 1,500 people seeking shelter from Israeli airstrikes crowd together at Tibnin General Hospital in southern Lebanon. Tibnin, near the Israeli border, endures Israeli bombing without doctors, running water or electricity.
 
Paths to Escape Perilous for Lebanese
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Editor's Note: This video contains graphic images.

As thousands of residents of southern Lebanon stream north for safety, civilian vehicles are being hit by Israeli air strikes. The victims are brought to one of Tyre's two hospitals. The war, however, is inescapable at Najem Hospital.

 
The Sroor family recovers at Najem Hospital in Tyre, Lebanon.
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The Srour family recovers at Najem Hospital in Tyre, Lebanon, after their car was hit by an Israeli airstrike as they fled southern Lebanon, killing the father. The mother and three surviving children, who hold German citizenship, were able to evacuate by ship later in the day.
 
A car is caught in a bomb crater on the costal road south of Tyre, Lebanon.
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A car is caught in a bomb crater on the costal road south of Tyre, Lebanon.
 
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The Israeli military intensifies its air assault in the area around the southern city of Tyre, targeting convoys of vehicles, some of which carry civilians attempting to evacuate.
 
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In one of the largest such operations since World War II., U.S. Marines help evacuate nearly 5,000 people from Lebanon to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus on June 21, 2006.
 
The war between Israel and Hezbollah could have an unintended effect on the delicate relations between Lebanon¿s many religious sects.
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The war between Israel and Hezbollah could have an unintended effect on the delicate relations between Lebanon's many religious sects.
 
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Rubble is all that remains of much of Beirut's southern suburbs after a week of relentless Israeli airstrikes. Hezbollah, which still controls the area, allowed journalists to enter one neighborhood to take pictures.
 
Lebanese Americans Divided on Conflict
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The sectarian politics that plague Lebanon echo throughout Dearborn, Mich., home to the largest concentration of Lebanese Americans outside of the Middle East.
 
American Evacuees Arrive in Maryland
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The first wave of Americans who evacuated war-torn Lebanon arrive at Baltimore-Washington International/Thurgood Marshall Airport on Thursday morning.
 
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As the bombings in Israel, Lebanon and Gaza escalate, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and the European Union raise the prospect of sending an international security force to southern Lebanon and foreigners escape the country.
 
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Israel continues its bombing of Hezbollah strongholds in the Lebanese capital of Beirut Sunday as a large rocket apparently fired by Hezbollah forces hit an Israeli government rail yard in the northern port city of Haifa, killing eight people. Meanwhile, the United States and other nations prepare to evacuate their citizens.
 
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Israel continued a fourth day of airstrikes on Lebanon Saturday, causing more civilian casualties and prompting Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and the Arab League to call on the U.N. to intervene.
 
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Is the Israel lobby too powerful? Is even raising the possibility a sign of anti-Semitism?
 
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The leader of Hezbollah promised an all-out war Friday after Israeli warplanes attacked his residence and Hezbollah's main headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt, and Israel vowed to press its offensive in Lebanon until the Shiite Muslim militant group was disarmed.
 
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Israel's two-week military campaign in Gaza has put the Hamas government under growing pressure.
 
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Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails enjoy a special place in Palestinian society like soldiers do in Israel. The capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian militants has snowballed into a crisis in part because of the role these two groups play on each side of the fortified border of Gaza.
 
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Israeli ground troops pushed into the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a military operation aimed at freeing a captured soldier whose fate has transfixed much of the country.
 
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In the valley below the village of Nuaman, backhoes are preparing the way for Israel's separation barrier. Soon, the 200 people of this village will be cut off from the Palestinian territories where Israel says they live, enclosed within a state where they have no right to be.
 
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Palestinians examine the Gaza valley bridge damaged by the Israeli air force Tuesday in central Gaza.
 
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May 10: An estimated 250,000 workers, students and activists -- some backed by pro-Syrian groups -- march through Lebanon's capital, Beirut. The huge crowd waved Lebanese flags and political party banners as they shouted for Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to step down.
 
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The sound of hope echos from the Arab village of Ara as Arab Israeli violinist Wafa Yuni gives Palestinian children music lessons that help them escape, for a moment, the conflicts in their lives.
 
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A Palestinian man detonated explosives he was carrying in a busy commercial section of Tel Aviv, killing himself and at least nine Israelis.
 
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Israelis went to the polls Tuesday to elect a new parliament -- and by extension a new prime minister -- after a campaign season marked by complacency, disappointment and a sense of betrayal among many voters now searching for new political leadership.
 
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Despite the increased tensions following the creation of a new party, Ariel Sharon's sudden exit from the political scene and Hamas' recent victory in Palestinian elections, Israel's vote next week appears to be the calmest in recent memory.
 
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Amid gunfire, street clashes and billowing black smoke from explosives, Israeli forces laid siege Tuesday to a Palestinian jail in the West Bank town of Jericho demanding custody of six prisoners there alleged to have participated in the assassination of Israel's tourism minister in 2001.
 
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Thousands of club-wielding riot police began evacuating an illegal Israeli outpost Wednesday, pulling stone-throwing settlers from rooftops in the fiercest confrontation over settlements since Israel began evacuating the Gaza Strip last summer.
 
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Palestinians went to the polls Wednesday to choose a 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council in their first parliamentary elections in a decade.
 
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Palestinians go to the polls to elect a successor to Yasser Arafat.
 
Palestinian Election
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Voters go to the polls Jan. 9 to choose a successor to Yasser Arafat.
 
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A photo gallery traces Ariel Sharon's career from his early days as a soldier in the Israeli military to his election as Prime Minister and his rise as a powerful player in Israeli politics and the Middle East peace process.
 
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Palestinians celebrated a step toward independence from Israel on Friday with a jubilant ceremony opening the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, their first self-governed passage to the outside world.
 
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In Hadera, Israel, a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated a bag outside a crowded open-air marketplace and restaurant, killing at least five Israelis and injuring more than two dozen.
 
gaza
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As the last of Israeli forces departed the Gaza Strip after a 38-year occupation, jubilant Palestinains moved in, in some cases setting synagogues ablaze and vandalizing Israeli government buildings.
 
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The military wing of Hamas stages a victory rally in the Gaza Strip, celebrating the evacuation of Israeli settlements and claiming responsibility for it.
 
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Netzrim, the last remaining Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip, was evacuated on Monday.
 
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Defiant Jewish protesters in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip eventually succumbed to soldiers enforcing the government's orders to evacuate.
 
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Using patient persuasion and brute force, Israeli soldiers removed hundreds of residents from homes across the Gaza Strip's Jewish settlements.
 
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Israeli soldiers moved from house to house early Wednesday in an emotional final attempt to compel residents of Jewish settlements to leave their homes voluntarily after a grace period expired.
 
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Thousands of Israeli army troops moved into Gaza Monday morning to serve eviction notices on settlers and confronted hundreds of opponents blocking their way into communities across the coastal strip.
 
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As Israel moves on its planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, emotions flare on both sides.
 
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While Israel sees the construction of a security fence around the West Bank a necessary measure to stopping suicide attacks, the Palestinians see injustice in Israel's acquisition of land.
 
West Bank Barrier
Multimedia
A glimpse at how the West Bank barrier is affecting life on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Candidates Prepare for Palestinian Election
 
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Israeli troops entered the West Bank city of Tulkarm to search for members of the militant Palestinian group behind the most recent suicide bombing. Gaza settlements were declared a closed military zone.
 
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Residents of Beirut and south central Lebanon voted in the first two stages of the nation's month-long election for a new parliament, the first in nearly 30 years without the presence of Syrian troops.
 
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Lebanon Voting Panoramas
 
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First Lady Laura Bush, on a five-day goodwill tour of several Mideast nations, encountered Jewish and Muslim protesters while visiting sites in Israel.
 
Syrian Troops Redeploy
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A Syrian soldier peers from the back of a truck during a redeployment of troops near the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
 
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Former rival Palestinian militant groups in Gaza have recently been working together in attacks against Israel and Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. Events such as the killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin on Monday March 22 appear to be galvanizing the groups' support for each other.
 
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A bomb in Beirut killed former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and at least nine. Hariri, a self-made billionaire who was prime minister from 1992-98 and again from 2000-04, resigned in October to protest Syria's interference in Lebanon's affairs.
 
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The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was interred amid the rubble of his West Bank headquarters courtyard as throngs of emotional mourners swarmed the grave site, adding a final chaotic addendum to his legacy. An official state funeral was held in Egypt.
 
Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat Dies at 75
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For virtually his entire adult life, Yasser Arafat had one dream: self-determination and statehood for the Palestinian people. Although he came to personify the dream itself, in the end Arafat did not live to see it come true.
 
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Palestinians mourned the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, 75, who died in a military hospital outside of Paris Thursday. For nearly 40 years, Arafat embodied his people's aspirations for statehood. Many Palestinians, though, admitted that Arafat, in many ways, leaves a flawed legacy.
 
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Palestinians outside Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah wait for word on their leader's condition. Arafat, who lies gravely ill in a Paris hospital, will be buried in the compound following a state funeral in Cairo.
 
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In the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, two suicide bombings aboard buses killed at least 16 Israelis and wounded dozens, ending five months of relative peace in the Mideast.
 
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Block 0 is a section of Rafah in the Gaza Strip that has endured heavy fighting between Israeli and Palestinian militants and the systematic destruction of most of the neighborhood's homes by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. Israelis say the destruction is necessary to find smuggling tunnels. Block 0 residents, separated from family members, friends, and a normal way of life, are furious with the Israelis for destroying their community, and frustrated with the Hamas militants creating the tunnels that keep the Israelis moving forward.
 

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