Jun 25

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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert averted a split in Israel's coalition and staved off a key coalition partner's threat to bring down the government, giving him at least a few more months to pursue peace agreements with the Palestinians and Syria.

Israeli forces struck a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing 18 Palestinians, including five boys playing soccer near the town of Jabalya, as a new round of violence threatened to fuel stronger Israeli military action.