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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention