News US Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel earlier this week

Currently into his 10th round of shuttle diplomacy, the United States Secretary of State knows the process demands very particular skills

John Kerry will mediate in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Israelis and Palestinians meet in Washington to resume peace talks - but few expect results

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces press criticism over prisoner release plan

The mother of Palestinian Ateya Abu Moussa, who has been held prisoner by Israel for 20 years, hugs her grandson upon hearing the news that her son may soon be released

More than 100 Palestinian prisoners released as Israel clears way for peace talks in Washington

Netanyahu's 'tough decision for the good of the country' faces opposition even within his party

US Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel

Kerry says Middle East peace talks have 'narrowed the gap' between Israelis and Palestinians

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday fell short in his latest bid to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the peace table. But he insisted that an agreement by the sides to renew negotiations is ''within reach''.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made Iran his priority since being returned to office in January

A 'victory for moderation' says new President of Iran, as supporters rejoice

Israel however is sceptical Rouhani will usher in change

Iranians go to the polls on Friday to elect a new president knowing that for the first time in eight years the country will be led by someone other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Danny Danon has cast doubt on whether the country’s government is willing to accept a future Palestinian state

'The international community can say whatever they want': Israeli minister Danny Danon decries two-state solution

A rising star on the right of Israeli politics has cast doubt on whether the country’s government is willing to accept a future Palestinian state.

John Kerry's Israel visit is the fourth in as many months

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Middle East for separate talks with Israel and Palestine

Israel visit is the fourth in as many months

People in Qusair inspect the damage caused by government air strikes

Syria civil war: Hezbollah takes fight to anti-Assad rebels as they storm rebel-held town of Qusair

Militia offensive kills dozens as regime attempts to secure control of coast road

We need to review security for Jews in the West Bank, says Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett

Israel’s right wing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says he plans to submit a plan to his colleagues on reviewing security for Jews in the West Bank after claiming that the situation has deteriorated in recent months.

Middle East peace process dealt a blow as Israel gives go-ahead for 300 new homes in West Bank

Hope earlier in the week that a decision to freeze the construction of new Israeli settler homes in the occupied West Bank could renew the moribund peace process were dealt a blow earlier today when it transpired that permission had been granted to build nearly 300 new houses close to the Palestinian administrative capital, Ramallah.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Surprise as Israel blocks settlement building in West Bank and East Jerusalem

Move was key demand of Palestinians as precursor to any renewed peace talks

Mahmoud Abbas, right, President of the Palestinian Authority, was welcomed by his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, left, in Beijing

China hosts Palestinian and Israeli leaders in bid for Middle East influence

China is hosting both the Palestinian and Israeli leaders this week in a sign of its desire for a larger role in the Middle East.

'This is not a declaration of war': Israel seeks to reassure Syria over airstrikes that reportedly killed at least 42

The Jewish state has sought to persuade the Syrian government that the attacks - which reportedly killed 42 - were not designed to weaken Bashar al-Assad’s position

Obama inspired a lot of hope in Israel. But is peace really any closer?

It's difficult to pinpoint the President's achievements in the region

Space for Barack, but not Barak: Embarrassment for Israel after former premier is excluded from Obama state dinner and events

Ehud Barak was not invited to any official functions, despite glittering military and political careers

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor