Alistair Dawber

Alistair Dawber is The Independent’s Jerusalem correspondent. The paper’s former foreign editor and deputy foreign editor, Alistair joined The Independent in 2008 as a business correspondent. He is a Liverpool fan, in exile

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Babies behind bars: A Palestinian fertility doctor has become an unlikely hero by helping women conceive – even though their husbands are in jail

Lydia and her husband were childhood sweethearts and in August they will have their second baby. It will be a boy, the doctors say, and the happy couple will call him Majd. A beaming Lydia is clearly delighted.

John Kerry has immersed himself deeply in Middle Eastern matters

US Secretary of State John Kerry 'argued for air strikes on Syria chemical weapons'

But he lost case during White House meeting, it is claimed

Military forces participate in the

8,000 troops from 19 countries join Jordan 'war games' in readiness for spreading Syria conflict

The West may be flip-flopping over whether or not to send lethal arms to the Syria rebels, but that has not stopped a 12-day military exercise in Jordan, in which thousands of troops from a variety of countries are preparing for the possibility of fighting in Syria. The war games come to an end tomorrow.

Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli coast

Three grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit the Israeli coastal town of Ashkelon this morning, according to media reports, the first time missiles from the Palestinian enclave have hit Israel for nearly two months.

Bashar al-Assad embraces Twitter but warns Europe that it will 'pay the price' if it arms Syrian rebels

Bashar al-Assad has warned Europe that it will live to regret arming rebel factions in the Syrian conflict, adding that the move would lead to the “export” of terrorism to the continent.

Israeli troops take part in a drill off the coast of Haifa

'Real men don't do poetry': Israeli army refuses to let IDF soldier read verses on the radio

Broadcast banned over fears it would 'ruin the image of the combat soldier'

Israeli president Shimon Peres, 90, says he expects peace with Palestinians within his lifetime

Elder statesman throws his weight behind John Kerry's Middle East peace initiative

Various rebel groups have long stated weapons is their most needed piece of equipment in fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad

While the West deliberates, Saudi Arabia sends anti-aircraft missiles to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria

Opposition fighters in Syria, preparing for a major onslaught by government forces in their northern strongholds around Aleppo, have been equipped for the first time with shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles, it has emerged.

Hassan Rouhani has given his first news conference since being declared as Iran's new President-elect

No change on Iran's uranium enrichment and nuclear programme, says President-elect Hassan Rouhani

Hassan Rouhani has given his first news conference since being declared as Iran’s new President-elect, vowing to continue to enrich uranium and so putting him on a collision course with Western powers.

A rebel fighter in Aleppo, which could soon come under an assault from pro-Assad forces

Syria: Fears for Aleppo as Hezbollah fighters bolster Assad’s forces

Syrian rebels fought back against forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo on Sunday after losing territory to government forces in recent days. Having been driven out of the key town of Qusayr two weeks ago, rebel fighters have been flocking to Aleppo to shore up one of the few remaining opposition strongholds.

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'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

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Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor