News The female face of Hamas: Isra Al-Modallal

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.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of Egypt’s armed forces, with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, centre,in Cairo

Palestinian rapprochement leaves Israel unimpressed

As Fatah and Hamas bury some of their differences, Tel Aviv says the move is a step back towards terror

The body of a Palestinian killed in his home by an Israeli air strike is carried through Gaza City

Hamas accuses Israel of planning for war after air strikes kill three

Egypt condemns latest attacks on Palestinians in Gaza as tensions rise across the Middle East

Rockets hit Israel after Gaza raid

Palestinian militants have launched three more rockets into Israel but there were no casualties, officials say.

Israel to free 'car thieves' in second part of exchange

Israel is to release a second batch of Palestinian prisoners this month as part of an exchange deal for the recently freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but may largely exclude political prisoners from the swap.

Khaled Meshaal and Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo yesterday

Hamas and Fatah 'agree to May poll'

Leaders of rival Palestinian parties yesterday claimed they had narrowed the gaps between them in talks aimed at salvaging a reconciliation deal to end a four-year rift.

Egypt vote key to success of any Fatah-Hamas reunification

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's announcement yesterday that he will meet the Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Cairo next week follows yet another round of speculation that the four-year-old schism between the factions is nearing its end.

Donald Macintyre: In Gaza, opposition to the UN statehood bid is almost as fierce as in Israel

Our writer tests the mood on the ground in Gaza City

Gaza's male hairdressers cut under Hamas ban

Hamas, the Islamist overlords of Gaza, has started to enforce a ban on male hairdressers as it seeks to impose a stricter code of Islam on Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians.

Israel blocks return of Palestinians' remains

Palestinian officials have expressed outrage at Israel's 11th-hour decision to backtrack on a promise to hand over the remains of 84 Palestinians killed in the Middle East conflict in recent years.

Impasse as Hamas rejects Fatah's nomination for prime minister

The Hamas militant group yesterday rejected the rival Fatah movement's nominee for prime minister, complicating plans to unify the duelling governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and jeopardising international aid for the Palestinians.

Hamas closes Gaza crossing into Egypt as tensions rise

Hamas closed the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt yesterday, partially reinstating a four-year blockade that was lifted only the week before. Hamas, the militant Islamist organisation which governs Gaza, took the decision in response to growing tension with Egypt's new post-Mubarak regime. After announcing the opening of the border last week, officials in Cairo rapidly backtracked, and then announced restricted access to crossings, apparently to cope with a huge influx of Palestinians trying to escape Gaza.

Gazans try to storm Egyptian border crossing

Palestinian travellers say dozens of angry Gazans attempted to storm a crossing at the Egyptian border but were pushed back.

Hamas and Fatah sign historic deal backing new Palestinian unity

Rival factions reach agreement in Cairo to end four-year rift

Israeli PM urged to seek peace deal

David Cameron will today urge Israel's Prime Minister to press ahead with efforts to find a resolution to conflict in the Middle East.

Barenboim strikes a divisive note once more

Conductor defies Israeli security to perform peace concert for Palestinians
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

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Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

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The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
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The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
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Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

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Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

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Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

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Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
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