Palestinian women are using skin whitening treatments as popular media are reasserting a 'fair-is-beautiful' bid. But the message is not new and can be found even in old Arabic poetry.
Interview: Hamas official Aziz Dweik, the constitutional successor to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, rejects violence. He seeks to bridge the Hamas divide with Abbas's Fatah party, which weakens Palestinians in talks with Israel.
Israel's captured soldier Gilad Shalit would be exchanged for up to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in a deal that could be be finalized this week, a Hamas official told the Monitor.
Israeli and Palestinian officials both had praise for President Obama, despite disappointment in peace process
President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is praised in many countries as a reflection of a "new hope" in world politics, but others worry it came too soon. A global roundup of views.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday that Palestinians would reject anything rival Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas agrees to during this week's talks with President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Forced to rebuild using mud and animal-drawn carts, Gazans are increasingly frustrated with Hamas's hard-line policies.
But Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's surprise move, some say, could pressure Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement in Cairo.
The latest stops in his Mideast tour included the rocket-besieged Israeli town of Sderot and the West Bank town of Ramallah.
In Israel, the media focused on possible breakthroughs in which the US played no role, highlighting low expectations for Rice's trip.