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From son of Russian immigrants to one of Israel's most influential and controversial leaders

Israel kills six Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza

Israeli soldiers shot and killed six Palestinians in two separate incidents on Saturday in the occupied West and the Gaza Strip, in one of the most deadly outbreaks of violence in months.

Jewish West Bank settlers vow to defy Netanyahu's building freeze

Defiant West Bank settler leaders rejected a personal plea from the Prime Minister yesterday to respect a government-ordered residential construction freeze, vowing to keep confronting security forces sent to enforce the edict.

Israel to enforce freeze on new settlements

Israel's Defence Minister has ordered his office to triple the number of construction inspectors in the West Bank to enforce a new settlement freeze declared by the government, while settler leaders vowed to defy the edict.

Donald Macintyre: Palestinians throw down challenge to Obama and UN

As so often in the Middle East, we have been here before. The latest suggestion – that a frustrated Palestinian leadership would unilaterally declare a state and invite international recognition for it – is not new. It was made a decade ago by Yasser Arafat when Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now, was Prime Minister. It was made again after the collapse of the Camp David talks a year later, when then Prime Minister Ehud Barak, like some of Mr Netanyahu's more hawkish ministers now, threatened to annex the most populous settlements in the West Bank in retaliation. And as the second intifada – and Israel's determined military response to it – gathered momentum, nothing came of it.

Palestinian push for an independent state causes Israeli alarm

Netanyahu to denounce Prime Minister's drive to sidestep Israel and secure support from UN Security Council

Palestine and Israel, By Avi Shlaim<br />One State, Two States, By Benny Morris

Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris are both pioneer "new historians" of Israel who challenged some of the country's most potent founding myths. Shlaim's classic The Iron Wall – the one book everyone should read for a concise history of Israel's relations with Arabs from 1947 - showed, among much else, how consistently Israel pursued the imperative of negotiating from military strength, and the diplomatic opportunities it missed in the process. Morris, in The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, became the first Israeli historian to drive, in the words of Shlaim himself in this book, "a coach and horses through the claim that the Palestinians left Palestine of their own accord or on orders from their leaders."

Student expelled to Gaza Strip by force

Palestinian's involuntary return is the sixth in 10 days, says human rights group

Israel accused of denying Palestinians access to water

Up to 200,000 families have no running water, damning Amnesty report says

Poll date pushes Palestinian rivals even further apart

Hamas, the militant Palestinian movement that rules the Gaza Strip is accusing Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate president in the West Bank, of deepening internal Palestinian divisions by unilaterally setting January elections.

World Focus: Why Palestinians have lost faith in Obama

For a man who is sometimes seen as the Palestinian politician that the Israelis and the Americans like best, Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad was in a strikingly robust mood during a two-hour press conference in Ramallah yesterday. While too polite to criticise the Obama administration, he nevertheless had a clear message in the wake of the failure by the US to persuade the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu to grant a freeze on Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank as a precursor to serious negotiations.

Palestinians cry 'blackmail' over Israel phone service threat

Israel is threatening to kill off a crucial West Bank economic project unless the Palestinian Authority withdraws a request to the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged Israeli crimes during last winter’s Gaza war.

Letters: Persecution of the disabled

Persecution of the disabled is not taken seriously

Euro star: Could Tony Blair become the first EU president?

Since 2007, he has quietly built a new role as Middle East envoy. But our former prime minister has set his sights on being the first EU president. Could it happen? Donald Macintyre joins him in Jerusalem to find out

Obama calls joint talks with leaders of Israel and Palestine

Tuesday meeting is bid by US President to relaunch efforts to reach &lsquo;comprehensive peace settlement&rsquo;

US envoy fails to break stalemate on settlements

Current US efforts to kick-start serious negotiations on a future two state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict were in the balance yesterday after presidential envoy George Mitchell failed to bridge the gap between the two sides on settlement construction.

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