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Israel gave final approval on Wednesday for plans to build 300 new homes in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, announcing the move as it carried out a court demolition order against two vacant apartment blocs at the site. Dozens of Jewish settlers have gathered over the past several days at Beit El settlement to protest against the demolition. Israel's Supreme Court ruled the two partially-built dwellings were constructed illegally on Palestinian-owned land.
The leader of an anti-Shiite group behind some of Pakistan's worst sectarian atrocities was killed in a shootout with police early Wednesday along with 13 other militants, authorities said. Malik Ishaq was shot dead along with fellow Laskhar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) militants, including senior commanders, in the eastern province of Punjab. LeJ, long seen as close to Al-Qaeda and more recently accused of developing links with the Islamic State group, has a reputation as one of Pakistan's most ruthless militant groups.