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

Israel's separation barrier

West Bank barrier plan threatens Roman-era irrigation channels

The old stone-walled farming terraces of this scenic Palestinian village near Jerusalem stretch along the hillsides, fed by spring water flowing through a network of irrigation channels that dates to Roman times.

Stuart Pearce

England Under-21s face Italy, Norway and Israel at the 2013 European Championship finals

England learn group at eight-team tournament in Israel

A general view of the 'E1' settlement area, situated between Jerusalem and the Israeli West Bank

Israel pushes ahead with plan to build in East Jerusalem

Israel on Monday advanced a project to build hundreds of homes in East Jerusalem, pushing ahead with plans for a surge of settlement building on occupied land in response to a successful Palestinian bid to gain limited recognition of statehood at the United Nations.

The Israeli President, Shimon Peres, with Tony Blair last month

'Useless, useless, useless': the Palestinian verdict on Tony Blair's job

Former Prime Minister's role as representative of Middle East Quartet comes in for fiercest criticism yet

Books of the Year 2012: Food

From art to sport, poetry to nature, travel to food, history to music: our writers select the best of the year’s books in a comprehensive guide to the highlights in every shade of the literary spectrum – except grey

Houses (foreground) of the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim

Israel goes forward with plan for West Bank building project

Defying mounting international protests, Israel moved ahead Wednesday with plans for a West Bank settlement project near Jerusalem that has been widely condemned as diminishing prospects for a territorially viable Palestinian state.

Palestinians at the rubble of a mosque near Hebron after it was destroyed by the Israeli army

Palestinians threaten to take Israel to the ICC

Palestinian officials are threatening to use the new status conferred by last week’s United Nations vote to haul Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it continues to expand West Bank settlements.

UN chief attacks new West Bank settlement plan

Israeli plans to build 3,000 homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank risk "an almost fatal blow" to peace, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned last night.

Both Arab and Jew lived in the original Palestine. Why, Ruth Dayan asks, can't they do so again?

The Long View: Our Middle East Correspondent interviews a feminist, patriot and widow who is nostalgic for a time of much greater harmony in the region

Israel gives go-ahead for new West Bank settlement hours after historic UN vote on Palestinian statehood

Israel has approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a government official said, in what appeared to be a defiant response to the Palestinians' successful United Nations recognition bid.

Crowds wave Palestinian flags in the West Bank city of Ramallah yesterday

Palestinian rivals unite to celebrate UN statehood vote

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets throughout the West Bank and Gaza today to celebrate a United Nations General Assembly vote which was expected to indirectly recognise a Palestinian state, by upgrading the Palestinian Authority's status from that of observer to non-member state.

The funeral of members of the Daloo family in Gaza City yesterday; 11 members of the family were killed on Sunday in an Israeli missile attack on their house

'They killed my son. Why? There will be no answer'

Members of the family which lost four generations in one Israeli attack tell Kim Sengupta of a loss which has left them in despair

'We have lost loved ones in Gaza and so have they. We hope for peace'

The death toll mounts, as do fears of a drawn-out conflict, reports Donald Macintyre from Beit Hanoun in Gaza

Mark Rylance as Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in Jerusalem

Jerusalem writer Jez Butterworth joins battle with the Asteroids

Writing one of the most acclaimed new plays of recent times and receiving huge praise for its follow up, Jez Butterworth has the pick of projects on both sides of the Atlantic.

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