Despite the ceasefire taking effect, there seems to be little incentive for both Israel and Palestine to continue peace and statehood talks.
On his three-day trip to the Middle East, Francis delighted his Palestinian hosts by referring to the "state of Palestine".
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged his cabinet to approve the release of 104 Arab prisoners.
Israel moved ahead with plans to build 3 000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the West Bank.
World leaders have been quick to congratulate US President Barack Obama on his re-election, and used the opportunity to punt their interests.
Israeli president, Shimon Peres has sad that he is sure the country can reach a peace deal with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas.
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the West Bank and Gaza which will be headed by Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel is wrapping up preparations to release 550 Palestinian prisoners in the final phase of a swap with Hamas militants.
Italian clothes company Benetton has pulled a photo montage showing the pope kissing a leading imam from its new global ad campaign, Unhate.
Palestine has vowed to continue its quest for full UN membership despite facing a setback at the Security Council and a possible veto from the US.
Palestine's President Abbas says the Arab world erred in rejecting the UN's 1947 plan to partition Palestine into a Palestinian and a Jewish state.
Palestine's bid to become a full member of the UN has received the full backing of South Africa, which has called for a speedy decision on the matter.
In his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly last year, US President Barack Obama promised that this time it would be different.
Iran has rejected the Palestinians' UN statehood bid, saying any deal that accepted the existence of Israel would leave a "cancerous tumour" forever.
The Palestinians' initiative to seek UN recognition as a state faces an uphill struggle to secure the nine votes needed for approval.
President Mahmoud Abbas says Palestine will not hold peace talks without a "complete halt" to Israeli settlement building.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he expected the Security Council to finish debating his nation's application for UN membership in weeks.
Palestinians poured into Ramallah's Yasser Arafat Square on Friday to watch Mahmoud Abbas submit Palestine's bid for full membership of the UN.
Palestinians used the mechanics of diplomacy to grab a rare moment in the international sun, forcing the world to pay attention to their cause.