Freed Palestinian prisoner Jamil Nabi Annatsheh (centre) stands with his wife as his son kisses his hand outside their house in the West Bank city of Hebron yesterday.  Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters

After five years of diplomatic deadlock, substantive peace talks got under way last night in Jerusalem with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators attemp(...)

Freed Palestinian prisoner Hosni Sawalha (C) is greeted by his sister upon arrival in the West Bank village of Azmout this morning. Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners  to keep US-sponsored peacemaking on course. Photograph: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters.

Israeli authorities freed 26 Palestinian prisoners hours before Middle East peace talks were due to resume, satisfying a goal Palestinian leaders had(...)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Israel’s plans to build further settlements on the West Bank could put peace talks  in jeopardy. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters.

US secretary of state John Kerry has said that Israel’s announcement of new settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “were to some degree expe(...)

A Palestinian labourer works on a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Beitar Ilit, near Bethlehem, yesterday.  Israel said yesterday it was marketing nearly 1,200 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, just two days before a planned release of long-serving Palestinian prisoners. Photograph: Reuters/Amir Cohen

An Israeli ministerial committee last night approved a list of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners who will be set free tomorrow as a goodwill gesture to(...)

A Palestinian boy runs in front of a concrete wall on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Photograph: Reuters

This week’s resumption, after a three-year stalemate, of direct contact between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators is good for optics. But it only(...)

Israeli justice minister Tzipi Livni (c) speaks to reporters in the lobby of the United Nations after her meeting with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon (unseen) in New York on July 29th, 2013. Livni was en route to Washington for peace talks with the Palestinians. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

It’s almost 20 years since then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed an historic peace agreement on the Wh(...)

An Israeli holds a picture of a victim of a militant attack during a protest yesterday outside the office of Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, against the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners as a step to renew stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.  Photograph: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Israel has approved the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled re-opening of Middle East peace talks(...)

Lebanon’s Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters via a video conference during iftar, the breaking of fast meal, during the Islamic month of Ramadan in Beirut’s southern suburbs last week. Photograph: Sharif Karim/Reuters

The European Union has agreed to blacklist Hizbullah’s military wing, but pledged to maintain political dialogue with the group, amid concerns about(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry (left) meets  Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Mukataa compound, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, last Friday. Photograph: Fadi Arouri/Reuters

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says any agreement reached in peace talks with Israel will be brought to a referendum.On Sunday Israeli prime mini(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry with Jordan’s foreign minister Nasser Judeh in Amman yesterday. Mr Kerry sounded optimistic that a breakthrough in the stalled peace process was close. Photograph:  Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Israel is pushing ahead with West Bank settlement construction plans despite the fact US secretary of state John Kerry is in the region in an effort t(...)

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