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Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon

Israeli Defence Minister's remarks risk US upset

American criticism of Israel’s settlement policies has slowed down construction in the West Bank, Israel’s Defence Minister said yesterday, adding that he hopes the slowdown will be “temporary” because the Obama administration “won’t be around forever”.

Palestinian Authority official Ziad Abu Ein is involved in a scuffle with an Israeli border guard near Ramallah. There are conflicting reports as to how he was injured

Death of a Palestinian leader: President Abbas under pressure after Ziad Abu Ein dies in protest

Ziad Abu Ein, a senior Palestinian Authority official, scuffles with an Israeli soldier. Minutes later he was dead, apparently struck as the protest he was leading was dispersed by troops

The play will give a female perspective on civil war

Making a drama out of a tragedy: Syrian refugees find catharsis on stage in Lebanon

'Antigone' by Sophocles is a shocking tale of death and defiance. A group of Syrian women, in exile in Lebanon, are performing a modern version of the play that encompasses their own contemporary traumas

File: A 15-year-old Yazidi girl captured by Isis and forcibly married to a militant in Syria

Isis releases 'abhorrent' sex slaves pamphlet with 27 tips for militants on taking, punishing and raping female captives

The 'Q and A' describes women captured by the group as 'merely property'

An Israeli border guard grabs Palestinian official Ziad Abu Ein (L) during the demonstration in the village of Turmus Aya near Ramallah, on December 10, 2014

Ziad Abu Ein: Palestinian cabinet minister dies after 'clash with Israeli forces'

Senior official reportedly dies during a protest in the West Bank

The British Humanist Association caused a stir with their bus poster campaign in 2009

How the right to deny the existence of God is under threat globally

New report also criticises Scotland's religious representatives on education boards

Syrian Jews celebrating Passover in Damascus

In the beginning there was a dispute over Hebrew Bibles...there still is

Israeli library in court over medieval manuscripts taken from Syria by Mossad 20 years ago

Marzieh Afkham

Iran calls on US to 'stop the practice of racism and inhumane behaviour'

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said America has ignored problems in its own county

Employees of the Trans-Israel Pipeline cleaning up the crude oil deposits in the desert in southern Israel at the Evrona Nature Reserve Oil spill in the Arava desert

Israeli firm’s oil spill shifts from Evrona Nature Reserve to threaten coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba

Heavy rain which could lead to flash floods to convey the pollution to the Gulf of Aqaba

British 'Vicar of Baghdad' claims Isis beheaded four children for refusing to convert to Islam

Canon Andrew White claims Isis have been ‘chopping children in half’ in their campaign against Christianity

Pierre Korkie, left and Luke Somers were both killed during a failed attempt to rescue them in southern Yemen

Pierre Korkie and Luke Somers killings analysis: More failures than successes in hostage rescue attempts

Pierre Korkie was about to be released. His wife was preparing to fly out to greet him. But the bungled rescue bid, by soldiers who did not even know he was being held, cost him his life – and that of Luke Somers

Several opinion polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Israelis do not want Mr Netanyahu to be PM after the election

Israel elections: Vultures circle as Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to fight for his political life

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, is expected to vote tomorrow to dissolve itself, paving the way for new elections in March. And the next three months promise to be a struggle by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for his political survival.

Iraqis at the Khazair camp for those caught up in the fighting around Mosul chase a Red Crescent truck delivering supplies

The most dangerous truck route in the world? A Mad Max-style endurance race from the Jordan border through the heart of Isis territory

‘It’s dangerous ... but where there is fear, there is money to be made,’ say truck drivers transporting food and antibiotics to Iraqi civilians living under siege

Can Lebanon's vineyards – a symbol of the country's cosmopolitan, diverse culture – survive the spillover from Syria's civil war?

'The day that we are not allowed to make wine in Batrounis the day Lebanon is finished as a country'

File image of an Israeli jet: Syria has accused Israel of carrying out air strikes near the capital Damascus

Israel accused of launching air strikes near Damascus in act of 'aggression against Syria'

Defence officials decline to comment as explosions ring out near Assad’s capital

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas