An Israeli artillery unit  fires a shell towards the Gaza Strip from a location in southern Israel. Photograph: Jim Hollander/EPA 1:34

Israel has tonight agreed to a proposed six-hour cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip for humanitarian reasons, a Israeli senior official said(...)

Israeli flares float down over Gaza tonight  in Sderot, Israel. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Egypt is proposing a temporary ceasefire as a first step in ending the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has left more than 175 people dead.The(...)

 Palestinians flee their homes on a horse-drawn carriage and head towards a United Nations school in Gaza City to seek shelter. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

Thousands of Palestinians fled to United Nations facilities in the Gaza Strip seeking sanctuary after Israel warned them to leave their homes ahead of(...)

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. While local polls show Sisi to be the overwhelming popular choice, a recent opinion survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre showed only 54 per cent of Egyptians favoured him. Photograph: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Calm and relaxed ahead of the presidential poll, Cairo is festooned with banners bearing the portrait of candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the presumed (...)

Swiss police secure the area of the Montreux Palace hotel where the “Geneva II” international conference will take place today. Photograph:  Jamal Saidi/Reuters

US president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin, sponsors of the Syrian peace conference convening in the Swiss city of Montreux tod(...)

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian during clashes with Israeli troops at a protest against the Jewish settlement of Ofra, in the West Bank village of Silwad, near Ramallah, yesterday. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

The Middle East peace talks are in crisis.When Israel and the Palestinians agreed, under intense pressure from Washington, to relaunch direct bilatera(...)

United Nations peace envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a news conference after meeting Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail, the government headquarters, in Beirut earlier this month.  Photograph: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi insists there will be only two Syrian delegations – government and opposition – at the proposed US and Russian-sp(...)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a special Knesset (Israeli parliament) session yesterday. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images.

Israel’s prime minister has abruptly halted a plan to explore the potential construction of thousands of new homes in West Bank settlements.Benjamin N(...)

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrives for a meeting on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva today. Photograph: Reuters

The United States and Russia failed today to agree a date for a Syrian peace conference, remaining divided over what role Iran might play in talks to (...)

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) leans towards Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu while speaking to the media at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, Israel, yesterday. Kerry sent a strong warning to Syria, saying “the threat of force is real” if it does not carry out an internationally brokered agreement to hand over its chemical weapons. Photograph: Larry Downing/AP Photo

Syrian reconciliation minister Ali Haidar has called the US- Russian agreement to assume control of and destroy the country’s chemical arsenal “a vict(...)