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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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment