Mid-East Conflict

PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE:
The unrest in the Middle-East focuses on the civil struggle between the government of Israel and the Palestinian people who want to establish a separate Palestinian state. Most of the Arab and/or Islamic nations in the area are also involved. This could result in the regional war that was foretold in Psalm 83. The United States, the U.N., the European Union, and even Russia are all trying to bring about peace in the region. In November of 2012 Egypt was involved in gaining a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

The current wave of violence could die out and become one of many such cycles in the area, or it could lead to a more serious regional war. The outcome of this war could be a most welcome peace agreement.

Such a peace agreement might be just another phase in the age-old struggle between these nations, or it could be the false peace mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:3. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (NIV)

When Israel finally is at peace, it will be the first time since they became a nation in 1948 that they have enjoyed such security. This could cause them to lower their guard, which would set the scene for yet another war, such as the one predicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39. (Many good Bible teachers think this war will occur at the end of the Tribulation, but there are many differences between it and the Battle of Armageddon.) If it does come before the Tribulation, it could be the fulfillment of the prophecy of the 2nd Seal of Revelation 6:3-4 (Rider on a Red Horse: Great War).

The dramatic end of this great war of the 2nd Seal could produce the treaty predicted in Daniel 9:27, which many prophecy scholars identify as the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period.

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Current Events

Prophetic Significance of Mid-East Conflict



See also:
Peace
Israel
Iran
Egypt
Syria
Turkey
Islam
Terrorism
Muslim Brotherhood
The War of Gog and Magog

Notice: Sources often remove their news links after a period of time. Some of them move older stories to a subscription-only section. Even if the story is no longer on line, our summary will still be available on this page.

Names translated from other languages may have different spelling, depending on the source. For example Hizbollah may be translated "Hezbollah," "Hizballah," etc.


See more recent articles: After July 31, 2014


IDF, Hamas to observe 72 hour truce in Gaza

July 31, 2014 -
Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour cease-fire in their conflict in the Gaza Strip starting on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.
Israeli forces will continue to destroy terror tunnels and ground forces will remain in place during the truce, which begins at 8 a.m. on Aug. 1.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Weakened, but not down for the count: Hamas may resurface stronger than before - Jerusalem Post

Prophetic Significance of Mid-EastConflict


Israel calls up 16,000 reservists as Netanyahu vows to destroy Hamas tunnels 'with or without a cease-fire'

July 31, 2014 -
Israel's military announced Thursday that it had called up 16,000 reservists as the country's Prime Minister vowed to destroy tunnels used by the Islamic militant group Hamas to attack soldiers and civilians inside Israel.
Thirty-two tunnels have been discovered, and most of them have been demolished. The operation should be finished within a few days.

The additional soldiers will bring the total number of reserve troops to 86,000.

Source: Fox
From tunnels to R-160s, a primer on Hamas and its deadly capabilities - Times of Israel
2014 Israel–Gaza conflict - Wikipedia



Hamas calls on Hezbollah to fight Israel

July 30, 2014 - Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has expressed support for Hamas, but has not yet conducted any military offensive against Israel.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, the Cairo-based deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti, “We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel],” The Daily Star reported.
Source: Times of Israel

Israel Announces 4-Hour Humanitarian Cease-Fire

July 30, 2014 - After a night of heavy warfare against Hamas targets in Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces scheduled a four-hour humanitarian cease-fire to allow civilians to get out of the area.
The IDF said that the cease-fire, which will take place between 3pm and 7pm local time, “will not apply to the areas in which IDF soldiers are currently operating.” It added that residents must not to return to areas which they were asked to evacuate.
Source: Time

Gaza fighting resumes after UN Security Council calls for 'immediate' cease-fire

July 28, 2014 - Early on Monday the United Nations Security Council ratified a draft statement calling for a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians. After a short pause in the hostilities Hamas resumed rocket fire and Israel retaliated by striking two rocket launchers and a rocket manufacturing facility in Gaza.
The military said it opened artillery fire on Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza in response to the rocket fired at Ashkelon, said the office of Israel's military spokesman. "Quiet will be met with quiet," the office statement said.
Source: Fox
Obama Calls Bibi, Demands 'Immediate, Unconditional' Ceasefire--HAMAS Rejects! - Breitbart
In call to Ban, Netanyahu rejects ‘one-sided’ UN call for ceasefire - Times of Israel
Turkey sends 'Freedom Flotilla' to Gaza - WND
Israel PM Netanyahu warns of 'prolonged' Gaza campaign - BBC
Netanyahu: We're prepared for an extended operation in Gaza - Jerusalem Post

Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza fighting

July 27, 2014 - On Saturday Israel announced a 24-hour truce, but Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into Israel. Israel resumed its ground offensive and airstrikes in Gaza, and after a few hours Hamas said it would abide by a new 24-hour humanitarian truce leading up to the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Source: Fox
Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal - Telegraph - UK

Israel extends ‘humanitarian’ cease-fire with Gaza by 24 hours

July 26, 2014 - The Israeli security cabinet agreed to a UN request to extend the cease fire with Hamas for 24 hours (until midnight Sunday). This decision was made in spite of continued rocket fire by Palestinians in Gaza. The Israeli Defense Force said it would still continue to neutralize terror tunnels during that time and would respond to any violation of the cease fire by the other side.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Gaza crisis: Humanitarian cease-fire between Israel, Hamas takes effect

July 26, 2014 -
Gaza residents used a 12-hour humanitarian cease-fire on Saturday to stock up on supplies and survey the devastation from nearly three weeks of fighting, as they braced for a resumption of Israel's war on Hamas amid stalled efforts to secure a longer truce.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris, trying to design a longer cease-fire agreement.

Israel's defense minister that it might still need to expand its Gaza ground operations "significantly," and there are signs that the conflict will spread into the West Bank.

Source: Fox
Top diplomats call to extend 12-hour humanitarian truce set to end at 8 pm - Times of Israel
Israel, U.S. openly at odds over Gaza ceasefire terms - Israeli government sources told Army Radio the ceasefire terms proposed by Kerry were “completely unreasonable.” - Times of Israel

Khamenei: Keep arming Palestinians until Israel is destroyed

July 25, 2014 -
The “Zionist regime” must be destroyed, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. This should be achieved “by a referendum of the people living there,” but until that happens, there should be “total armed resistance” against it."
He said that anyone who is capable should help arm the Palestinians.
Source: Times of Israel
Turkey’s Erdogan says Israel should face trial over Gaza assault - Haaretz

Hamas says Gaza blockade must end before ceasefire

July 24, 2014 -
The leader of Islamist militant group Hamas has said there can be no ceasefire to ease the conflict in Gaza without an end to Israel's blockade.
Source: BBC
'Their God changes path of our rockets in mid-air' - WND
Kerry Claims Progress Toward Gaza Truce, but Hamas Leader Is Defiant - NY Times
Hamas calls for 3rd intifada in West Bank, as ministers set to weigh Kerry truce plan - Times of Israel

Is Hamas using human shields in Gaza?

July 23, 2014 - At least 630 Palestinians have been killed in the current war, and 70 to 80 percent of them are civilians. This raises the question of the legitimacy of Israel's actions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explains the dilemma: Hamas is using civilians as human shields.
"We use anti-missile systems to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That's the difference."
Source:CNN
IDF campaign shows rockets in schools and hospitals - YNet News
EU calls on Hamas, other Gaza militants to disarm - i24 News
Israel Says Deaths in UNRWA School Were Not Caused by IDF Fire - Algemeiner

14 Terrorists Killed, 187 Targets Destroyed

July 22, 2014 - Israel continues to strike Hamas targets in Gaza, hitting 187 terror targets so far today, bringing the total since the beginning of the ground operations in Gaza to 1,715.
The targets include hidden rocket launchers, Hamas command centers, tunnels, launchers used for firing ground-to-ground missiles, and a weapons factory.
Source: Israel National News
Ambassador Dermer: IDF deserves Nobel Peace Prize for ‘unimaginable restraint’ - "I especially will not tolerate criticism of my country at a time when Israeli soldiers are dying so that innocent Palestinians can live.” - The Times of Israel
LIVE BLOG: Israel's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza - Jerusalem Post

Israel expands Gaza offensive after two soldiers killed by Hamas

July 20, 2014 - The fighting in the Gaza Strip intensified Sunday with intensified Israeli airstrikes and ground offensive.
The nearly two-week conflict has killed more than 400 Palestinians and seven Israelis, and appeared to be escalating as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon headed to the region to try to revive cease-fire efforts.
Source: Fox
Kerry Caught on Camera Criticizing Israeli Operation - NewsMax
John Kerry arrives in Egypt for Gaza truce push - Economic Times
Update 7/21/14 - Operation Protective Edge, day 14 - Haaretz

Israel warns it may further expand Gaza operation

July 18,, 2014 - Israeli tanks and soldiers have entered Gaza, and have reached Abu Holeh, roughly in the center of Gaza. Their troops are engaged with Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters along the Kissufim road. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained that the escalation was caused by Hamas' unwillingness to accept a cease-fire agreement proposed by Egypt.
"We chose to commence this operation after we had exhausted the other possibilities," he said, "and with the understanding that without action, the price that we would pay would be much greater."
From their current location Israeli forces could continue to the Mediterranean Sea, splitting Gaza as they did when they quelled the situation there in 2009.
Source: CNN
Update: July 19, 2014 - Protests worldwide as Gaza offensive intensifies - Times of Israel
Egypt won’t amend truce terms to appease Hamas - Times of Israel

Israel launches major ground offensive against Hamas

July 17, 2014 -
At nightfall, Israel launched a major ground offensive on Hamas in Gaza, after a day of ceasefire efforts in Cairo. Hamas, ... vowed that Israel would pay dearly for sending in its troops.
Source: Times of Israel
Israel starts Gaza ground offensive - BBC

Israel calls up additional 8,000 reservists for Gaza operation

July 16, 2014 - The Israeli cabinet, which has already called up 48,000 reservists to assist in Operation Protective Edge along the Gaza frontier, activated another 8,000 troops for the mission. Prime Minister Netanyahu has not said whether or not ground forces will actually go into the Palestinian area.
Source: Times of Israel

Israel resumes airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas rejects cease-fire proposal

July 15, 2014 - A cease-fire proposal proposed by Egypt's Foreign Ministry was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas. Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official said that Hamas had not received an official draft of the proposal. He also said that the plan, as is, was "not acceptable."
Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Tuesday that after holding its fire for six hours Israel has "resumed operational activities.”
During the six hours that Israel held its fire Gaza militants fired about 50 rockets into Israel.
Source: Fox

Egypt proposes Israel-Gaza ceasefire

July 14, 2014 -
Egypt has proposed a ceasefire to end a week of cross-border fire between the Gaza Strip and Israel. The initiative urges a ceasefire starting early on Tuesday followed by a series of meetings in Cairo with high-level delegations from both sides.
During this past week at least 175 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli air strikes. During that time nearly 1,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

Both sides will apparently consider the possibility of a cease fire, but neither side has expressed agreement to the concept at this point.

Source: BBC

Netanyahu giving no indication when Gaza operation will end

July 14, 2014 -
As the sixth day of Operation Protective Edge came to a close Sunday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave no indication of whether the campaign was nearing its end or whether Israel is on the verge of a ground operation.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Israeli Commandos Briefly Enter Gaza

July 13, 2014 - After six days of attacking Hamas strongholds in Gaza that has claimed at least 160 Palestinian lives, Israeli Defense Forces sent troops into the area.
Israel briefly deployed ground troops inside the Gaza Strip for the first time early Sunday as its military warned northern Gaza residents to evacuate their homes, part of a widening offensive that began against Hamas last week.
The United Nations Security Council and others are calling for a cease-fire, but neither side seems to be in favor of the idea.
Source:Voice of America
Realtime Coverage - Google
Israel says cease-fire possible only if it ensures long-term quiet - Jerusalem Post
'Israel should deal a mortal blow to Hamas' - WND

Israel to continue air campaign while preparing for ground invasion of Gaza, IDF says

July 12, 2014 -
Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz told Israel Radio on Saturday that there were still “many” targets in the Gaza Strip remaining. While air force sorties will continue, the army high command is simultaneously preparing for a ground incursion.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Middle East descends further into chaos, endangering Israel -- and US influence

July 11, 2014 - Israel's war against Hamas continues. Hezbollah in Lebanon is threatening to use rockets against Israel.
Egypt and Libya have struggled to establish stable governments, and Islamic extremists wreaking havoc in Iraq have declared their own "caliphate" in territory across a wide swath of land.
In addition, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton noted that Syria is in chaos and nearby Jordan -- a U.S. ally -- is feeling the strain. He said, "And another significant fact, the United States is almost absent here."
Source: Fox

Hamas: Ben-Gurion Airport target of rocket attacks

July 11, 2014 - Hamas militants warned airlines not to use Israel's main airport near Tel Aviv because they intend to strike the military base that is located there. The warning said:
"In the light of Israel's ... attacks on the residents of Gaza Strip ... The armed wing of Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Obama tells Netanyahu US willing to negotiate cease-fire between Israel, Hamas

July 10, 2014 - President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express support to Israel's efforts to defend itself against the intense rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The also called on both Israel and the Palestinians to protect civilians and restore calm. The White House said the U.S. was willing to "facilitate a cessation of hostilities," potentially along the lines of a 2012 cease-fire that the U.S. helped broker.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that a cease-fire is urgent to avoid another Israeli-Palestinian war and the possible spread of warfare in the entire region.
Source: Fox
Netanyahu: Cease-fire with Hamas is not on Israel's agenda - Haaretz
Israeli official: Cease-fire offers ‘not relevant’ while Hamas fires - Times of Israel

Harper, World Leaders Support Israel's Right to Defend Itself

July 10 - So far many world leaders have spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but U.S. President Barack Obama has not spoken with Netanyahu since the launch of Operation Protective Edge three days ago. The supportive leaders include:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, British PM David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
One American dignitary, Philip Gordon, adviser on Middle East affairs, was in Israel and the West Bank this week. He condemned the Hamas attacks on Israel. He spoke to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but did not ask to speak to Netanyahu.
Source: Shalom Life
Obama praises Abbas, but not Netanyahu in opinion piece published by Israeli newspaper - Fox

Israel urges Gazans near border to clear out

July 10, 2014 - Watch this live blog for latest news. Operation Protective Edge is in its third day. Rocket launches continue from Gaza into Israel. The Israeli Air Force has conducted hundreds of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 53 Palestinians.
Source:Times of Israel
Realtime Coverage - Google
Top Obama official blasts Israel for denying Palestinians sovereignty, security, dignity - Times of Israel
Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts 90 Percent of Rockets - Big News Network
Report: Obama Has Not Spoken With Netanyahu Since Israel-Hamas Violence Flared Up - CBS
Israel: Iron Dome Intercepts 90 Percent of Rockets - Voice of America

Netanyahu instructs Israeli military to intensify assault on Gaza

July 9, 2014 - As Palestinian rockets continued to threaten Israeli citizens, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for even greater military action against Hamas.
While stopping short of announcing a ground invasion, the Israeli prime minister told assembled security chiefs in Beersheba on Wednesday: "The IDF [Israel Defence Forces] is prepared for any option. Hamas will pay a heavy price for firing at Israeli citizens."
Source: The Guardian

Israeli military steps up Gaza Strip airstrikes on second day of offensive

July 9, 2014 - As Hamas rockets continue to be fired into Israel, the Jewish state struck back decisively.
Since the offensive began Tuesday, Israel has attacked more than 400 sites in Gaza, killing at least 41 people, according to The Associated Press. The strikes came after militants fired more than 160 rockets at Israel.
Source: Fox
Hamas rockets reach Jerusalem and Tel Aviv - Jerusalem Post
Jordan Demands Israel Stop 'Barbaric' Operation' - Peace partner' condemns defensive operation, not hundreds of rockets raining on Israel; follows Turkish condemnation. - Israel National News
Iran Condemns Israeli Self-Defense as 'Savage Aggression' - Israel National News
Live Updates - Haaretz

Israel orders preparations for invasion of Gaza

July 8, 2014 -
Israel struck 150 targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and authorized the call-up of 40,000 reservists as it weighed a possible ground operation to quell weeks of Palestinian rocket fire into its territory.
Source: Telegraph
Israel Strikes Gaza by Air and Sea to Halt Rocket Attacks - BusinessWeek

Israel launches new air strikes on Gaza Strip

July 8, 2013 -
Israel has carried out more air strikes on the Gaza Strip, following dozens of rockets fired by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas. . . A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has told the BBC that . . .that a ground incursion was "not off the table".
Source: BBC

Israeli jets pound Gaza as Netanyahu blames Hamas for teenagers' deaths

July 1, 2014 -
Israeli jets and helicopters launched dozens of air strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight . . . just hours after the bodies of three abducted Israeli teenagers were found in a shallow grave near the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The air strikes struck 34 locations in the Gaza Strip that were associated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Source: The Guardian UK
Israeli jets pound Gaza, hit 34 targets in overnight strike - Jerusalem Post
Israel: Hamas 'will pay price' after teenagers found dead - BBC

Hamas to Netanyahu: We'll 'rain hell on Israel'

Jun. 20, 2014 - Three young men were kidnapped in the West Bank a week ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that there is no doubt that they were taken by Hamas. He said, "Hamas repeatedly has called for the kidnap and murder of Israeli citizens." He instituted a military search called Operation Brother's Keeper to find the boys.

Hamas responded by promising "rain hell on Israel," should the operation continue. They also criticized Palestinian leader Abbas for assisting Israel in its search for the boys.

Source: YNet

Germany 'very worried' about Israel's plans to advance settlement building

Jun. 6, 2014 - Because of the unilateral action by the Palestinians to form a unity government including Hamas, Israel announced plans for an additional 1,800 new buildings in settlement areas. Germany is especially concerned about the move. German government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said that it will make efforts to continue the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians harder.

The European Union also expressed disappointment:

"We are deeply disappointed that the Israeli Land Administration has published new tenders for 1,466 housing units in settlements in east Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank," the EU said in a statement. "This move is unhelpful to peace efforts."

Source: Jerusalem Post
Palestinians to appeal to UN over settlement expansion - Times of Israel
US envoy condemns new settlement building plans - Tlimes of Israel
Kerry: US to monitor Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government - Times of Israel

Israel denounces US for accepting Abbas’s Hamas-backed government

Jun. 2, 2014 - The US State Department announced that it will work with the new Palestinian unity government. Officials in Jerusalem disagreed with the US position, saying,
We are deeply disappointed by the comments of the State Department regarding working with the Palestinian unity government. This Palestinian government is a government backed by Hamas, which is a terror organization committed to Israel’s destruction.
They also called for the US to guide Abbas to end the pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel.
Source: Times of Israel
Israel: US sanctioning terrorism by okaying ties with Palestinian unity government - Jerusalem Post
EU Says It Will 'Work' with Hamas-Fatah Government - Israel National News

Palestinian unity government of Fatah and Hamas sworn in

June 2, 2014 -
After seven years of a bitter and at times lethal rivalry between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, a historic Palestinian unity government has been sworn in, ending years of division.
The new government will reunite Gaza and the West Bank, which have been separated since the 2007 when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.

The move is bound to increase tensions with Israel, and cause doubts from the US and other aid donors. Israeli authorities have said that the Hamas element will "strengthen terrorism.

Source: The Guardian - UK
Kerry calls Abbas to express concern over unity with Hamas - The Times of Israel
Bennett: PA government made up of ‘terrorists in suits’ - The Times of Israel
Bennett: Annexation of Area C [part of the West Bank] is the best response to Fatah-Hamas government - Jerusalem Post
Israel PM Wants Palestinian Government Isolated - ABC

Mashaal: Hamas remains committed to jihad against Israel

Apr. 30, 2014 - Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that Hamas is still committed to holy war against Israel. Because of this, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to further peace talks if the Hamas-Fatah pact is consummated.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Former Navy chief: Israel in a 'secret war' to stop Iranian weapons smuggling to terrorists

Apr. 7, 2014 - Admiral (Res.) Eliezer Marom, told a conference that the interception of an Iranian ship last month demonstrates Israel's rapid response and highly developed intelligence structure. The event represents a “war between wars,” to minimize the ability of Israel's enemies to acquire new and more deadly missiles. He said, “Hezbollah has 100,000 rockets. Hamas in Gaza holds several thousand rockets, some of which are long-range.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

Hamas Lawmaker: Koran Says We Must Massacre Jews

Mar. 24, 2014 - In a telecast a Hamas lawmaker, Yunis Al-Astal, quoted the Koran: "If you gain mastery over them in a war, use them to disperse those who follow them that they may remember." He then said,
This indicates that we must massacre them, in order to break them down and prevent them from sowing corruption in the world. They are the ones who still spark the flame of war, but Allah has taken it upon Himself to extinguish it.
Source: Israel National News

IAF strikes dozens of Gaza targets after rocket attack

Mar. 12, 2014 - Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for up to 55 rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. There were no reports of casualties. In response to the situation the Israel Air Force struck 29 targets in Gaza.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Islamic Jihad tries to drag Hamas, and Israel, into escalation - Times of Israel
As rockets rain down, Liberman calls for IDF to recapture Gaza - Times of Israel


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Links: Mid-East Conflict

Middle-East Crisis - BBC

Myths of the Middle East

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Israel's War of Independence (1947 - 1949)
Guide To The MidEast Peace Process
The "Roadmap" Peace Plan, 2003
Palestinian Statehood


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Last Updated: 8/2/14
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