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The week began in a military conflict, ended with a political conflict, and had a truce in-between.

The clash between Hamas and Israel ended with an Egyptian brokered cease-fire. While Palestinians in Gaza celebrated, those in the West Bank pondered the future of relations with Israel and with Hamas. Meanwhile, deaths continued to mount in Syria where there has been no letup in the fighting. On Wednesday, President Morsi decreed new powers for himself, sparking protests in several cities in Egypt.

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Middle East Voices is a unique social journalism project powered by Voice of America. The site, as a supplement to VOANews.com, is designed to present news, views and conversation to stimulate dialogue and understanding within, without and across man-made borders. On our platform, among other content, you will finds expert insights and community-submitted viewpoints on pressing political, economic, social and religious issues reshaping the Middle East and our world.

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