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

New building permits cast shadow over Middle East peace talks

Jewish settlers have permits to start building thousands of new homes within hours of the end of a 10-month construction freeze in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli watchdog revealed.

Middle East peace process: High-level talks but with low expectations

On the ground, there is little agreement over the way forward

Israeli and Palestinian leaders face critics of talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned Friday from the resumption of Mideast negotiations in Washington to confront internal opposition to his peace moves, just as his Palestinian counterpart faced harsh criticism for agreeing to the talks at all.

Leading article: The blessing of low expectations

Another round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has begun in Washington. And there are plenty of reasons to fear that these negotiations will be as fruitless as all the others that have taken place over the past four decades.

Hamas claims reponsibility for West Bank attack

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas claimed responsibility today for a shooting attack yesterday in which two Israelis were wounded in the occupied West Bank.

Hamas claims drive-by attack ahead of summit

Hamas last night claimed responsibility for the killing of four Israelis in a West Bank drive-by shooting attack 24 hours before President Barack Obama hosts a dinner summit to start the first direct peace negotiations for 20 months.

Israelis killed in West Bank attack on eve of peace talks

Four Israelis were killed last night in a West Bank shooting presumed to be the work of Palestinian militants little more than 24 hours before President Barack Obama hosts a dinner summit to start the first direct peace negotiations for 20 months.

Lieberman: West Bank settlement must go on

Israel's hardline foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday urged an end to the partial halt to Jewish West Bank settlement building next month and cast doubt on the success of imminent direct peace negotiations.

Israel and Palestinians agree to direct peace talks

Israel and the Palestinians have accepted an invitation by the United States and other powers to restart direct talks on September 2 in a modest step toward forging a deal within 12 months to create a Palestinian state and peacefully end one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

Israel takes down wall near West Bank settlement

The Israeli military yesterday began removing part of an eight-year-old concrete wall which once protected an Israeli settlement from gunfire and shelling, citing sharply improved security as the reason.

US envoy falls short on West Bank mission

The White House's Mideast envoy failed to secure Palestinian agreement to go to direct talks with Israel yesterday, despite mounting pressure from the US to begin negotiations in September.

Israel is impeding Palestinian forces' training, says US

Israeli-caused delays to the transfer of weapons, radios, vehicles, helmets and other equipment are hampering American efforts to train Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, according to an official report by Washington's Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The lawyer who hopes Baroness Ashton can free her from Gaza

Student trapped by blockade wants EU visitor to pressure Israel

Exposed: The truth about Israel's land grab in the West Bank

As President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet, a report reveals 42 per cent of territory is controlled by settlers

Methodists launch boycott over West Bank

The Methodist Church today voted to boycott all products from Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories becoming the first major Christian denomination in Britain to officially adopt such a policy.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis