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Israel and Palestinians Agree to Cease Fire, Fighting Occurs Near Ukraine Nuclear Plant, and Bolton Assassination Plot Foiled

World News stories from this week.
Israel and Palestinians Agree to Cease Fire, Fighting Occurs Near Ukraine Nuclear Plant, and Bolton Assassination Plot Foiled

Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group declared a truce late on Sunday, raising hopes of an end to the most serious flare-up on the Gaza frontier in more than a year, according to Reuters. Israeli forces pounded Palestinian targets through the weekend, triggering rocket attacks against its cities, which largely tapered off by the time the truce came into effect.  

Israel and Palestinian militants declare Gaza truce (Reuters)

Excerpt from Reuters: It was announced in separate statements by Islamic Jihad and then Israel, who both thanked Egypt for mediating the ceasefire. The three-day clashes echoed preludes to previous Gaza wars, though they were relatively contained as Hamas, the governing Islamist group in the Gaza Strip and a more powerful force than Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, had so far stayed out. Gaza officials said 44 Palestinians, almost half of them civilians and including children, had so far been killed. The rockets have threatened much of southern Israel and sent residents in cities including Tel Aviv and Ashkelon to shelters. Israel launched what it called pre-emptive strikes on Friday against what it anticipated would be an Islamic Jihad attack meant to avenge the arrest of a leader of the group, Bassam al-Saadi, in the occupied West Bank.
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Meanwhile, the United Nations nuclear watchdog has called for officials to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant as soon as possible amid renewed shelling in the area and warnings of the "catastrophic consequences" of continued fighting near Europe’s largest atomic plant, writes The Guardian.

"This is a serious hour, a grave hour and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) must be allowed to conduct its mission to Zaporizhzhia as soon as possible," the agency’s chief, Rafael Grossi, told an emergency meeting of the UN security council on Thursday night.

UN nuclear watchdog warns of ‘grave hour’ amid fresh shelling of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant (The Guardian)

Excerpt from The Guardian: Ukraine’s state-run company operating the plant, Energoatom, said the area was struck five times on Thursday, including near the site where radioactive materials are stored. "Five [hits] were recorded near the plant management’s office – right next to the welding site and the storage facility for radiation sources," Enerhoatom said in a post on its official Telegram channel. "The grass caught fire over a small area, but fortunately, no one was hurt." The claims come just one day after Ukraine accused Russia of firing rockets from around a captured nuclear power plant, killing at least 13 people and wounding 10, in the knowledge that it would be risky for Ukraine to return fire.
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And finally, CNN is reporting that the US Justice Department announced criminal charges Wednesday against a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for allegedly trying to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, who served in senior national security positions during the Trump and Bush administrations.

US Justice Department charges Iranian with trying to assassinate John Bolton (CNN)

Excerpt from CNN: The alleged plot was "likely in retaliation" for the January 2020 US air strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Justice Department said. After the strike, leaders of the terrorist organization vowed "revenge against Americans" for Soleimani's death and publicly lashed out against then-President Donald Trump and other high-ranking officials in his administration. Prosecutors said Shahram Poursafi, a 45-year-old Iranian national and IRGC member, attempted to pay $300,000 to an individual in the United States to kill Bolton and said he had a "second job" for $1 million. It is believed the "second job" was a reference Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was also a target of the Iranian assassination plot, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.
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