Arab States hold war games as tensions with Iran mount. According to Voice of America, Gulf Arab states are beginning two days of joint military exercises, as fears of an armed conflict with Iran continue to grow. The drills, dubbed "Islands of Loyalty," come amid an escalating territorial dispute between the United Arab Emirates and Iran over three strategic islands in the Persian Gulf. Earlier this month, Iranian President Mah-moud Ah-ma-din-e-jad visited one of the islands, Abu Musa, sparking a war of words between Abu Dhabi and Tehran. The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said his nation was "fed up" with the Iranians' "occupation" of the land.
Gaza terrorist group, Islamic Jihad, calls for abductions of more Israelis. According to Reuters, Islamic leaders in the Gaza Strip called for militants to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the freedom of thousands of Palestinians prisoners held in Israeli jails. Human rights groups say up to 2,000 prisoners have joined an open-ended hunger strike to protest against jail conditions and thousands of Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to support their cause. Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, told the crowd, "We should work hard to get Israeli prisoners in our hands in order to secure the freedom of our prisoners."
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