News A Palestinian man stands amid tear gas smoke during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the village of Beit Furik, near the West Bank city of Nablus

Hamas Islamists governing Gaza reject the account as 'silly fabrications', saying it was an attempt to justify Israeli military strikes in the territory

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a state memorial service for Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at Israel's parliament, the Knesset on 13 January 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel

Ariel Sharon memorial: Israel holds memorial ceremony for 'fearless warrior'

Hundreds of Israeli VIPs and international dignitaries attended a state memorial ceremony for the late Ariel Sharon on Monday, remembering the controversial former prime minister as a fearless warrior and bold leader who devoted his life to protecting his country's security.

Israelis pass by the coffin of Ariel Sharon at the Knesset plaza in Jerusalem

Ariel Sharon: A hawk who might just have liberated the Palestinians

What would have happened if Ariel Sharon had not been struck down by his stroke in January 2006? Could the man Palestinians saw as the butcher of Beirut, who had urged Jewish settlers to grab every hilltop in the West Bank – and provided the spark that ignited the second intifada – have been the  general-politician to end the occupation, in a local version of De Gaulle’s withdrawal from Algeria?

Israel’s President Shimon Peres lays a wreath at the coffin of the former Prime Minister in Knesset Plaza, Jerusalem

Israel’s former prime minister Ariel Sharon wins praise from US presidents, but universal disdain on the West Bank

Former leader tol be buried on a hilltop overlooking his family’s Sycamore Ranch in the southern Negev region, alongside his late wife Lily

Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon pictured in 2005

Timeline: The life of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

From son of Russian immigrants to one of Israel's most influential and controversial leaders

Pope Francis delivers his first

'I hope for a better world': Pope Francis calls for peace for Syria and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict in Christmas Day speech

Pontiff spoke from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica to some 70,000 cheering tourists, pilgrims and Romans in the square below

A worshipper lights candles at the Church of the Nativity

O’ empty town of Bethlehem: a trickle of visits to the site of Christ’s birth thanks to intifadas and ongoing tensions

Intifadas and ongoing tensions are keeping Christian pilgrims and tourists away from Bethlehem, says

Bottling it up: 'Kirstie's Crafty Christmas'

Kirstie's Crafty Christmas, Channel 4 - TV review

Sorry to spoil the party, but Kirstie's festive offering was a bit of a turkey

Fajr and Sjel are less than a week old

Hamas unveils lion cubs at Gaza zoo

The cubs' names are a reminder of last year's conflict with Israel

The female face of Hamas: Isra Al-Modallal

A move in the right direction? After years of restricting women's rights Hamas hires Isra Al-Modallal as its first female spokesperson

During her teenage years, Isra Al-Modallal was a schoolgirl in Yorkshire. She travelled from her home in Bradford, which she shared with her older brother, to Grange Technology College, two miles outside the city centre.

'The discovery of the tunnel… prevented attempts to harm Israeli civilians who live close to the border and military forces in the area,' said the Israeli Defence Minister, Moshe Yaalon

Israel finds Palestinian ‘terror tunnel’ from Gaza Strip

Israel has put on show what it calls a Palestinian “terror tunnel” running into its territory from the Gaza Strip and said it was freezing the transfer of building material to the enclave.

Egyptian helicopter gunships attack Sinai militants

Egyptian helicopter gunships have attacked militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula in a continuing effort to control the largely lawless region.

Israel intercepts rocket from Egyptian territory targeted at coastal resort of Eilat

Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted a rocket launched at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat near the border with Egypt today, the army said.

Avigdor Lieberman: The far-right politician said previous military strikes had been ineffective

Lieberman: Israel needs to conquer and thoroughly cleanse Gaza Strip

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest political ally has called for Israel to carry out a “thorough cleansing” of the Gaza Strip as a tenuous ceasefire between its Hamas rulers and the Jewish state frayed.

Gazans inspect the damage after the Israeli airstrike, which caused no reported fatalities

Israeli aircraft strike targets in Gaza Strip following rocket attack

Attack came in response to 'intolerable act of aggression against Israel and its civilians'

Palestinians sit around the grave of Haitham Mishal in Gaza City

Motorcyclist killed in first Israeli air strike on Gaza since November truce

Attack that hit 'top militant' is most serious test yet of the Egyptian-brokered truce

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project