Despite a horrific new wave of terrorist violence, Iraq's National Assembly gave Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's government a near-unanimous vote of confidence. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that US officials have joined senior Iraqis in drafting a policy that would offer amnesty to extremists who have engaged in acts of resistance. But it quoted Security Minister Abdul Karim al-Inzi as saying that such extremists must first do more to convince authorities that they are serious about making peace. Inzi also said it was premature to discuss offering an amnesty "soon" and that in any case it would apply only to Iraqi nationals and not to foreigners such as the notorious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this summer will have to be halted in the event of attacks by Palestinian militants, army chief Dan Halutz warned. Such a prospect has become more worrisome as recent flare-ups in fighting between Israel's forces and militants threaten a shaky cease-fire. Israeli leaders have expressed concern that Hamas and other terrorist organizations would take advantage of the situation to attack, wanting to give the impression that they were responsible for driving the pullout. Halutz didn't specify how much violence Israel might absorb before suspending the pullout, but said, "There won't be disengagement under fire."
With the US withdrawing its opposition, the International Atomic Energy Agency unanimously reappointed Mohamad ElBaradei to a third term as its director-general. He promptly urged North Korea to back away from its nuclear weapons threat and called on Iran to allow his agency's inspectors to return to military sites where their previous access has been withdrawn. The Bush administration tried to deny his reappointment but then abandoned the effort when no other nation supported it.
Tons of humanitarian aid were being rushed by Chile's government to the region in the Andes Mountains where a powerful earthquake Monday night killed at least 10 people and caused massive property damage. The magnitude-7.9 quake also shook Bolivia and Peru, but no damage was reported there.