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Israel to prevent entry of protesters

JERUSALEM — Israel is vowing to prevent the entry of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists expected to arrive in the country this weekend.

Activists are set to board flights for Israel’s international airport with the aim of participating in nonviolent anti-Israel demonstrations in the West Bank. Israel views the campaign as a provocation and plans to deport the protesters.

Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said Tuesday the “provocateurs will be dealt with in a determined and quick way.”

Israel denied entry to dozens of people in the campaign’s first attempt last year, and very few entered the country.

Organizers say they want to draw attention to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

IRAQ

Fugitive vice president arrives in Turkey

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s fugitive vice president was in Turkey on Tuesday, his third stop in what he says is an official visit to regional countries. The trip risks complicating Baghdad’s relations with its neighbors.

A statement issued late Monday by the office of Tariq al-Hashemi, the top Sunni official in Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, said he arrived in Istanbul and plans to meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss developments in the region.

It isn’t clear how long Mr. al-Hashemi intends to stay in Istanbul. Mr. Erdogan is on an official visit to China.

Mr. al-Hashemi is wanted in Iraq on terror charges for allegedly running death squads against Shiite pilgrims, government officials and security forces.

Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government issued a warrant for his arrest in December, touching off a political crisis in Baghdad and deepening the country’s sectarian divide just days after the U.S. military withdrawal.

Mr. al-Hashemi, who has denied the charges and says they are politically motivated, took refuge in the self-ruled Kurdish region in northern Iraq, where he is effectively out of reach from state security forces loyal to Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

From wire dispatches and staff reports