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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commends his military for ‘quick and forceful’ retaliation

Israel passes draconian law on illegal immigrants

Israel's parliament approved harsh new penalties on illegal immigrants yesterday in an effort to stop mainly sub-Saharan Africans seeking refuge from conflict and poverty.

Railway to Damascus is being staged at Tel Aviv's Habima theatre

Israeli veterans wounded by 'offensive' play

Drama set in 1940s shows woman's execution after she has child with British officer

Ultraorthodox men with a sign reading: 'Women are asked not to linger here'

Sexism and the state of Israel

Driven by a theology that refuses to grant women equal rights, ultraorthodox Jews have begun to flex their misogynist muscles. But, says Catrina Stewart, a fightback has begun

Nick Clegg held a joint press conference with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, at Admiralty House

Diary: Chin up, Ed. Nobody likes you, but your job looks safe

Ed Miliband has not had a good start to the year. There has been a run of unhelpful stories, and now an opinion poll which suggests that the only opposition leaders for a generation whose popular standing was worse than his were Michael Foot and Iain Duncan Smith. The latest survey by YouGov, for The Sunday Times, showed that 20 per cent think Miliband is doing well, but 66 per cent say he is doing badly. That is a score of minus 46.

TV news anchor joins the political fray

One of Israel's most popular television personalities quit the news business yesterday to start his own political party, a move that could shake up the Israeli political system by energising opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Werritty met Miliband official

Adam Werritty, Liam Fox's former adviser whose activities led to the Defence Secretary's resignation, held official talks with a senior civil servant at the Foreign Office when Labour was in power, it emerged last night.

Republican leadership candidate Mitt Romney says the greatest threat to the world is a nuclear Iran

Adrian Hamilton: The more we talk of war with Iran, the more likely it becomes

The frightening thing is that so many discuss war as if it was perfectly rational

Palestinian and Israeli mediators restart security talks

Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators yesterday held their first face-to-face meeting in more than a year, searching for a formula to restart long-stalled negotiations.

Britain last hosted the Olympics in 1948

Olympics 1948 & 2012: Two Games - 64 years, and worlds apart

With the 2012 Games' now only 208 days away, the IoS interviewed some of the surviving 1948 British Olympians...

Israel accused over 'provocative' new homes in Jerusalem

Israel has been accused by the UK of hampering peace efforts with another "provocative and deeply counter-productive" step after authorities approved construction in sensitive areas of Jerusalem.

Leading article: The battle for Israel's soul

If the state of Israel is threatened, the assumption has been, that threat comes from outside – from militant Palestinian groups vowing to drive it into the sea or, more recently, from Iran. It is increasingly apparent, however, that the survival of Israel as a democratic and modern state is also threatened from within, specifically by its own ultra-Orthodox minority.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Israel’s leader has condemned rabbis who call for discrimination against Arabs

Secret paper reveals EU broadside over plight of Israel's Arabs

Memo seen by The Independent highlights tensions between Tel Aviv and Europe.

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal leads the Christmas midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Hundreds pack Bethlehem church for Christmas Mass

Hundreds of Christians, defying lashing rain and wind, filled the ancient Bethlehem church that marks Jesus's traditional birthplace for Christmas Day Mass today.

Crowds gather in Manger Square, next to the Church of the Nativity, as people ready to celebrate Christmas eve in the West Bank city of Bethlehem

Crowds return to enjoy merry Christmas in Bethlehem

Tens of thousands of tourists and Christian pilgrims packed the West Bank town of Bethlehem for Christmas Eve celebrations Saturday, bringing warm holiday cheer to the traditional birthplace of Jesus on a raw, breezy and rainy night.

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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