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The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Dec. 15.

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago. Relative quiet in the Palestinian city has bolstered tourism and the local economy. Read more»

St. George's Monastery

ST. GEORGE'S MONASTERY — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert on Tuesday, the Orthodox priests chanted "Lord, have mercy" in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to the troubled Holy Land. Read more»

Israeli troops run toward a Palestinian demonstrator in Bili'in, West Bank, April 30.

Palestinian and international activists in the West Bank regularly dodge tear gas, skunk cannons and rubber bullets as they challenge territory that Israel controls, it says, for security reasons. In Gaza, however, protesters are immediately met with live gunfire. Read more»

Humanitarian cargo waits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip in 2009. Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, letting Palestinians cross until further notice amid a storm of international criticism of Israel's blockade of the enclave, officials in Egypt and Gaza said. (Mohammed Salem/Reuters) Click to enlarge photo

It’s time for Israel to end its three-year blockade of Gaza and for the international community to abandon its failed policy of trying to isolate Hamas. Read more»

An Israeli barrier wall in the West Bank, 2009.

Indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were set to resume this week, as Mideast envoy George Mitchell prepared for yet another round of shuttle diplomacy intended to revive the peace process. Read more»

Depending on which country you live in, the way the news media present the facts about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can make them seem quite different. Read more»

Is this man a 'terrorist' or a 'vigilante?'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to stop building Jewish homes in Arab east Jerusalem and the West Bank has become a major obstacle to peace talks with the Palestinians and severely strains relations with President Barack Obama's administration. That's a simple statement of fact. Read more»

Israeli police deploy in the Palestinian village of An Nabi Salih, March 2010.

The nonsensical sequence of recent events in the Middle East has started to fall into a comprehensible pattern. It's not a pleasant pattern, because it leads to war. Read more»

The Ma'ale Adumim Jewish settlement sits right between the northern and southern halves of the West Bank, near East Jerusalem.

How Israel has again crossed a line and why Obama must not let that happen. Read more»