With France supporting, Britain leaning, and even bosom buddy Australia abstaining, the Palestinian request to be recognized as a “non-member observer state” at the United Nations appears to be a done deal and is set to be approved by an overwhelming majority on Thursday.

The Israel Navy on Wednesday detained a group of fisherman from the Gaza Strip, saying they had gone beyond a recently expanded fishing zone off the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.

A new Haaretz poll shows Prime Minister Netanyahu still rules the roost as right's lead gets bigger, while it was a sorry start for former Kadima chairwoman, Tzipi Livni, whose new party, Hatnuah, will garner only seven Knesset seats.

More than 200,000 people packed Cairo's central Tahrir Square on Tuesday, chanting against Egypt's Islamist president in a powerful show of strength by the opposition, demanding Mohammed Morsi revoke edicts granting himself near autocratic powers.

The Immigration and Population Authority recently issued a new procedure for dealing with stateless people living in Israel, under which, for the first time, a stateless person may ask the Interior Ministry for recognition as lacking citizenship in Israel or any other country, without being arrested or jailed.

Advertisements claiming that "Shas gives the Haredim a bad name" are due to appear this week in the ultra-Orthodox media, in a provocative political campaign by the new Am Shalem party founded by former Shas member Chaim Amsellem.

Former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni announced Tuesday that she was running for Knesset with a new party called Hatnuah, but did not reveal who would be running with her. By afternoon, though, it was clear that several Kadima MKs were moving to join Hatnuah.

At least 38 people were killed in Syria when two car bombs exploded in the eastern Damascus district of Jaramana on Wednesday, activists and Syrian media said.