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

John Kerry's Israel visit is the fourth in as many months

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Middle East for separate talks with Israel and Palestine

Israel visit is the fourth in as many months

We need to review security for Jews in the West Bank, says Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett

Israel’s right wing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says he plans to submit a plan to his colleagues on reviewing security for Jews in the West Bank after claiming that the situation has deteriorated in recent months.

Google has changed the designation on its Palestinian site from

Google searches for Middle East peace - and makes a bold political statement - with launch of 'Google Palestine' to sit alongside Google Israel

The Palestinian Authority has called the move 'a step in the right direction'

Israelis burn Palestinian fields and stone vehicles in West Bank after father is stabbed to death at settlement bus stop

Salam Zaghal drew a large knife and killed Evyatar Borowski before reportedly firing at Israeli border police

Palestinians sit around the grave of Haitham Mishal in Gaza City

Motorcyclist killed in first Israeli air strike on Gaza since November truce

Attack that hit 'top militant' is most serious test yet of the Egyptian-brokered truce

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad offers resignation in bitter dispute with President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has offered to resign because of an increasingly bitter dispute with President Mahmoud Abbas over the extent of his authority, officials said today.

Israel’s Palestinian-only buses prompt apartheid comparisons

Israel will open new “Palestinian bus routes” in the West Bank tomorrow after bowing to pressure from settlers who argue that sharing transportation is a  security risk.

Gaza militants 'fire rocket into Israel'

Action is first attack from Palestinian territory to land in Israel since fighting last November

Palestinian women mourn at the funeral of Arafat Jaradat in the West Bank town of Si’ir, near Hebron

Tense West Bank funeral for ‘hero’ who died in Israeli jail

Thousands of mourners gather for funeral as militants threaten to begin a ‘third intifada’

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

UN calls Israel's West Bank settlements 'creeping annexation' and suggests it jeopardises a future Palestinian state

Report added that Israel has an obligation not to allow its citizens to move to the West Bank

Palestinians evicted from E1, east of Jerusalem, less than 48 hours after beginning protest

A group of Palestinian protesters who had built a tented village in a strategically important area of the West Bank have been evicted by Israeli police, less than 48 hours after beginning their action.

Hamas rival Fatah party stages first Gaza rally since 2007

The Fatah party of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas staged a massive rally today in the Gaza Strip, the first such gathering in the territory since the Islamist Hamas group took control there in 2007 and a reflection of the warming ties between the two rival factions.

Israel advances plans to build 942 new homes in east Jerusalem

Palestinians do not recognise Israel's 1967 annexation of the territory

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.

Thousands gathered for the militant Islamist group's first permitted rally in the West Bank in five years

Hamas rally stirs hope among Palestinians for unity

The green banners of Hamas were openly raised at Nablus on the West Bank as thousands gathered for the militant Islamist group's first permitted rally in the West Bank in five years, a sign of a thaw in a bitter split with Fatah, the faction that dominates the Palestinian Authority.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick