Palestine has qualified for the first time for the Asia Cup, hosted by Australia. Palestinian officials say that Israeli security restrictions have held back the national soccer team and see its participation as a symbol of global recognition.
Three former Likud colleagues of Netanyahu, now his political rivals, are leading their own parties in Israel's March elections. By splitting the right-wing vote, could they swing the next coalition to the left?
The increasingly sectarian conflict in Yemen has led to a surge in Sunni support for the militant group, which in recent months has faced rising Shiite power, US airstrikes, and competition from the Islamic State.
Iyad Madani, the secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, called for other Muslims to make the pilgrimage to East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque to support Palestinian claims to the site.
In the second half of 2014, the price of oil fell by 50 percent. Hezbollah, which last fought Israel in Lebanon in 2006, is starting to tighten its belt as its patron Iran feels the impact of lower oil revenues and sanctions.
Syrian refugees in Turkey are importing coffee, cigarettes, and other simple and inexpensive products from their homeland to sell to fellow refugees. The extra income barely covers costs for many households.
Since September, dozens of political activists have been arrested. Jordan said Friday that a Jordanian warplane had crashed in Syria and its pilot had been captured by Islamic State, which claims to have downed the aircraft.
For years, a discredited and distrusted Labor party has been sidelined as Israel has moved to the right. But a surprise alliance with Tzipi Livni is reaching for the center and outpolling Netanyahu's Likud.