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

Donald Macintyre: History will have more to say on this titanic warrior

It is surprising that the legacy of so titanic a figure as Ariel Sharon does not figure more in Israeli public discourse than it does. But the left never wholly warmed to the scourge of the Palestinians; those on the right, meanwhile, felt bitterly betrayed by his withdrawal from Gaza.

Netanyahu wants Israeli troops on Palestinian border

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel wants to keep its troops on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state.

Settlement row casts gloom over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

A second round of US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks started yesterday in Egypt but yielded little progress on the issue of West Bank settlements that may derail the negotiations.

Familiar themes dominate first day of peace talks

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, yesterday opened the first face-to-face Middle East peace talks in two years by demanding an end to Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that any agreement must assure Israel's security as a Jewish state.

Israeli PM in spat with hardline foreign minister

The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is battling to control his coalition as he heads for a showdown with his hardline foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Mr Lieberman, leader of the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu Party, has complained bitterly that his party has been sidelined in decision-making and blocked over key legislation. He is now on a collision course with the Prime Minister over a Jewish conversion bill that Mr Netanyahu says could tear the Jewish people apart.

Israel agrees 'in principle' to ease blockade, says Blair

Israel has agreed "in principle" to taking a significant step towards relaxing a three-year blockade of Gaza that has crippled economic life and halted post-war reconstruction, the international Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, said yesterday. Mr Blair said after briefing European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg on his negotiations with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that he hoped the blockade would be eased within days.

Trimble to observe on Israeli inquiry into flotilla attack

Lord Trimble, the former leader of the Ulster Unionists, is to be a foreign observer on an official Israeli inquiry into the naval commando raid on a Gaza-bound Palestinian flotilla which cost nine Turkish lives a fortnight ago.

Ilan Pappé: The deadly closing of the Israeli mind

The decline in Israel's reputation since the brutal attack on the Gaza flotilla is unlikely to influence the country's leaders

Israel's 'gunboat diplomacy' provokes global outrage

At least nine activists killed in commando raid on aid ship

Palestinians and Israelis start talks

The Palestinians yesterday announced the official start of indirect peace talks with Israel after a 17-month breakdown, while Israel's leader urged a quick transition to face-to-face negotiations.

Big Think: The impending Israel-Palestine disaster

The more unwilling Binyamin Netanyahu is to take a historic leap, the more dangerous it’s going to get, says David Remnick, Editor, The New Yorker.

Adrian Hamilton: Israel's interests are not the same as ours on Palestine

Its greatest fear in its relationship with the West is marginalisation

Benjamin Netanyahu in-law calls US President 'anti-Semitic'

The brother-in-law of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, yesterday accused Barack Obama, the US President, of being "anti-Semitic".

Rupert Cornwell: Sound of a window of opportunity being shut

As snubs go, this one takes some beating. Israel's announcement that it plans to build 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem comes at the very moment that US Vice-President Joe Biden is on its soil, talking up prospects for peace.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
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The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
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The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
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On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
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'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada