Pope Francis, the first non-European Pope, was named Time Magazine's "Person of the Year". Second place went to whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Senior officials in U.S. President Barack Obama's administration have admitted to Israeli colleagues that they greatly underestimated the value of the economic sanctions relief reaped by Iran from the Geneva accord. 

South Africa under apartheid was the Israeli defense industry's biggest customer and funded its most ambitious projects. The two were brought together as a product of their respective international isolation. 

In a game of high-stakes power, Ukraine is pitting Russia and the European Union against each other in the bid for Kiev's partnership. 

The Israel Defense Forces pays the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers far more than market rates to cover the rent of lone soldiers. The association says the discrepancy is explained by their coverage of many of the soldiers' ancillary expenses.

Israel inaugurated its first memorial to gay Holocaust victims in Tel Aviv's Meir Park, "in memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity." 

Palestinians see a worrisome trend as the number of "honor" killings more than doubled in 2013. According to human rights groups, 27 Palestinian women were killed by male members of their families this year. 

This Christmas, pilgrims and tourists will find the Church of the Nativity hidden behind scaffolding, as the church undergoes its first comprehensive renovation since it was completed in the 4th century.