Briefly: Israeli, Palestinian negotiators ‘to meet in coming days’

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DOHA | Qatar has rejected Iraq’s request to hand over the nation’s fugitive Sunni vice president to face terror charges in Baghdad.

Khaled al-Attiyah, Qatar’s minister of state for international cooperation, said the Gulf nation will not extradite Tariq al-Hashemi because such a move would be contrary to diplomatic protocol.

Iraq on Monday asked Qatar to extradite Mr. al-Hashemi. The request likely will further strain ties between Shiite-led Iraq and Sunni Gulf Arab states.

ISRAEL

President hosts New Jersey governor

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning president on Tuesday hosted New Jersey’s governor on the second day of his visit to Israel.

Gov. Chris Christie, a rising star in Republican politics, is in Israel on his first official overseas trip. The high-profile visit has raised speculation he could be positioning himself for a run at national office, though he has rejected such suggestions and insisted the trip is aimed at strengthening ties with his state.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Shimon Peres, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, hailed Mr. Christie as “an outstanding friend to Israel.”

WEST BANK

Woman held for alleged Facebook insult

RAMALLAH — A Palestinian woman accused of defaming the president on her Facebook page has been detained for two weeks while an investigation is carried out, activists said Monday, in what they say is a growing crackdown on writers who criticize the West Bank government.

Palestinian security forces arrested Ismat Abdul-Khaleq, a West Bank university lecturer, last Wednesday after they found writing on her Facebook page accusing President Mahmoud Abbas of being a traitor and demanding he resign, said lawyer Issam Abdeen of the Palestinian rights group al-Haq.

Ms. Abdul-Khaleq’s detention is the latest in what activists say is the Palestinian Authority’s increasing intolerance of criticism and a worrying trend of mining Facebook to spy on Palestinians.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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