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BEIRUT – The Latest on the suspected chemical attack in Syria (all times local):
Israel's defense minister says he is "100 percent certain" that President Bashar Assad's forces carried out the chemical attacks in Syria this week that killed dozens of civilians.
Avigdor Lieberman told the Yediot Ahronot newspaper on Thursday the attacks were conducted under Assad's "direct and intentional order" and carried out with Syrian planes.
He gave no proof to support his position but his remarks mesh with earlier assessments from Israeli defense officials who said military intelligence believes Assad's forces were behind the assault that killed 86.
The attacks in neighboring Syria have worried Israel, which has warned against "game-changing" weapons reaching Hezbollah in Lebanon from Syria, which along with Iran supports the militant group.
Channel 2 TV reported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security Cabinet will convene later in the day to discuss the latest developments in Syria and their ramifications for Israel.
The United Nations humanitarian chief says that 41 donors have pledged $6 billion to help people in need in 2017 amid the Syrian crisis.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien said what is now needed is to see the pledges turned into "cash for action" as soon as possible.
O'Brien welcomed the pledges, which came at a regional conference in Brussels in Wednesday.
He says that "the needs have never been greater and the requirements have never been higher for the Syria crisis."
He added that the conference was "a momentous opportunity for much of the world to come together to commit more support and solidarity for Syrians and those affected across the region."
Another $3.7 billion was pledged for 2018 and beyond.