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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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
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The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
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Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
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Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

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How did our legends really begin?

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Lambrusco is back on the menu

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