Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he had not given up on his demand for the Palestinian right of return, clarifying remarks he made in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 two days earlier.

Sudan will not stop supporting Palestinian group Hamas despite Israeli "aggression," a senior Sudanese official said less than two weeks after Khartoum accused Israel of bombing an arms plant in the Sudanese capital.

Israel has stopped the unapproved influx of African migrants across its border with Egypt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after months of intensive counter-measures on the once porous desert frontier.

Iran has suspended its 20-percent uranium enrichment levels in what it claims is a goodwill gesture ahead of scheduled talks with the United States, the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper reported, citing news services in the region.

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church chose a new pope, Bishop Tawadros, in a sumptuous service that Christians hope will lead them through an Islamist-dominated landscape and protect what is the Middle East's biggest Christian community.

A car bomb exploded near a major hotel in the Syrian capital of Damascus, wounding several people, a pro-government television station reported.

A gun battle between two Libyan rival militias raged around a Tripoli security headquarters building, highlighting the precariousness of peace in the capital more than a year after a popular armed revolt ousted Muammar Gadhafi.

The Jerusalem Foundation, in cooperation with the local municipality, unveiled a new bust of Churchill in the Moses Montefiore Garden at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in the center of the capital.