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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Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high