News Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

Holy Warriors, By Jonathan Phillips

In a work "aimed squarely at the general reader", Phillips tells the story of the Crusades from 1095 to Bush's response after 9/11 that alienated moderate Islam. As Phillips reveals, earlier crusaders were better informed

Rail firm suggests use of 'kosher' cars

The company running Jerusalem's planned new light railway, already under attack for issuing a "racist" questionnaire to potential passengers, was facing fresh criticism yesterday for suggesting it would operate "kosher" men and women-only carriages.

Israel and Palestinians poised for direct talks

The first direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for more than 18 months were in prospect last night after successful diplomatic efforts to find a formula designed to allow the talks to start.

Abbas resists US pressure for immediate talks with Israel

Arab nations yesterday backed the Palestinian President's refusal to immediately restart direct talks with Israel despite heavy US pressure.

Threat to peace talks as Israelis demolish home

Israeli bulldozers razed six buildings in East Jerusalem, including three Palestinian homes, marking the end of Israeli efforts to refrain from contentious demolitions that could undermine peace talks.

Barred from Jerusalem for crime of being Palestinian

Engineer's battle to overturn loss of residency highlights plight of thousands

Jerusalem goes ahead with disputed building idea

A controversial plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes for a tourist centre in Jerusalem's eastern sector was approved by the mayor today.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of racism over education demands

Parents of European descent are refusing to let their daughters attend school with girls of Middle Eastern or North African origin

Eyes wide open, Haim Tabakman, 96 mins (12A)

Starring: Zohar Strauss, Ran Danker, Tzahi Grad

Jerusalem's mayor denies building has been halted

Jerusalem's firebrand mayor has vowed to speed up Jewish construction in Arab-dominated East Jerusalem in comments that could undermine hopes of a long-awaited breakthrough in the peace process.

Netanyahu raises stakes with US over settlements in East Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US demands to freeze Jewish construction in East Jerusalem, creating a key stumbling block to renewed peace talks just as Washington's Middle East envoy arrived in town.

Album: Weckmann, Wie Liegt die Stadt so Wüste (Harmonia Mundi)

Roughly contemporary with Buxtehude, Matthias Weckmann is another example of the rich brew of Venetian and French influences that coloured the devotional music of the Hanseatic League.

The Jerusalem Quartet: Should classical music really be a legitimate target for political demonstration?

The performers were heckled by anti-Israeli protesters at the Wigmore Hall this week.

Mark Rylance: 'I'll play another woman'

This week's Olivier Award confirms him as the best stage actor of his generation – and he's got plenty more surprises up his sleeve
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links