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

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He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star