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

Jerusalem: The Biography, By Simon Sebag Montefiore

Reading Jerusalem is a compelling experience of a very peculiar place. It's a city that has never made anything but history. Jerusalem is not an entrepot, a manufactory, a place of finance or a crossroads. It is a place apart, a Holy City among broken arid hills on the edge of a desert, where for three thousand years pilgrims have come to repent, to pray, to celebrate, to wait for the second coming, to attempt to question God, and to die.

New Jerusalem settlement hits peace process

Israel is moving ahead with a project to build 1,400 new homes in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, a development that critics claim will deliver a death knell to the already faltering peace process.

Israel clears out disputed site in Muslim quarter

Israel has widened access to a revered Jewish site in the heart of the Jerusalem Old City’s Muslim quarter, a move that threatens to inflame tensions at one of the world’s most contested religious sites.

Arab bid for housing at risk from Jewish rivals

A Palestinian businessman bidding to buy a failing Jewish housing estate in East Jerusalem is battling to fend off counter-bids from national religious groups determined to keep the project in Israeli hands.

Historic hotel flattened for settlements

Israeli bulldozers yesterday demolished a large part of a historic Palestinian hotel in Arab East Jerusalem as part of an internationally condemned plan to establish 20 new homes for Jewish settlers.

EU officials propose help for arrested Palestinians

The European Union is so troubled by the increased settlement activity of Israel it has proposed that EU officials should be present at the site of imminent house demolitions or evictions and intervene if non-violent Palestinians face arrest in East Jerusalem, according to a new confidential report.

Israel uses British emergency law to banish activist

Mandate-era regulation invoked to stifle protest against Jewish settler groups in East Jerusalem

Briton stabbed and US tourist killed in Israel knife attack

An American woman was knifed to death and her British Israeli companion seriously injured when they were attacked by two assailants while walking in the wooded hills near Jerusalem over the weekend.

American tourist stabbed to death near Jerusalem

Israeli police found the body of a female American tourist, with multiple stab wounds and her hands bound behind her back, in a forest outside Jerusalem today in what authorities believe was a politically-motivated attack by two Arab men.

Maestro, please stop preaching at us

Beware orchestras with the word 'Peace' in their name, says Jessica Duchen – their misguided idealism devalues the term

US offers deal on Israel settlement freeze

The US has offered Israel an incentive package to reinstate a ban on West Bank settlement building, in an effort to revive stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, diplomatic sources said today.

Jerusalem homes will still be built

Israel is pushing ahead with plans to build 1,300 new apartments for Jewish families in Arab East Jerusalem, despite fierce opposition from Palestinians.

Clashes between police and protesters in Israel

Israeli police fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse Arab protesters at an Israeli-Arab city today in an effort to prevent a clash with ultranationalist Jews planning to march there.

The Anatomy of Ghosts, By Andrew Taylor

Potent mix of history and mystery

Israeli police accused of targeting Jerusalem's Arab residents

A leading civil-rights group has accused Israeli police of systematic discrimination against the Arab residents of East Jerusalem as growing numbers of hardline religious Jews take up residence in Palestinian areas.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there