Middle East

Palestinian protester dressed as Santa Claus holds a Palestinian flag as he argues with Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Maasara near the West Bank city of Bethlehem...A Palestinian protester dressed as Santa Claus holds a Palestinian flag as he argues with Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Maasara near the West Bank city of Bethlehem December 19, 2014.

Mussa Qawasma/Reuters

A Palestinian protester dressed as Santa Claus holds a Palestinian flag as he argues with Israeli soldiers during a demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Maasara near the West Bank city of Bethlehem

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds up a piece of clothing worn by an Islamic State fighter in Kesarej village, south of Zumar, Nineveh province. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq's Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighter. The assault, backed by U.S. air strikes, ended the months-long ordeal of hundreds of people from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority, who had been besieged on the mountain since Islamic State stormed Sinjar and other Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Iraq in August.

Ari Jalal/Reuters

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds up a piece of clothing worn by an Islamic State fighter in Kesarej village, south of Zumar, Nineveh province. Kurdish peshmerga fighters have fought their way to Iraq’s Sinjar mountain and freed hundreds of people trapped there by Islamic State fighter. The assault, backed by U.S. air strikes, ended the months-long ordeal of hundreds of people from Iraq’s Yazidi religious minority, who had been besieged on the mountain since Islamic State stormed Sinjar and other Kurdish-controlled parts of northern Iraq in August

Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem...A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem December 17, 2014.

Ammar Awad/Reuters

A Christian worshipper is seen inside the Grotto, where Christians believe Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, at the Church of Nativity ahead of Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Wednesday

An Iranian woman walks past mannequins l...An Iranian woman walks past mannequins locked to a gas pipe in northern Tehran on December 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRIBEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty

An Iranian woman walks past mannequins locked to a gas pipe in northern Tehran on Monday 

Family members mourn and cry during a funeral of Minister Ziad Abu Ein on Thursday in Ramallah, West Bank. The Palestinian Minister died yesterday from a suspected heart attack after confronting Israeli security forces in West Bank demonstration.

Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Family members mourn and cry during a funeral of Minister Ziad Abu Ein on Thursday in Ramallah, West Bank. The Palestinian Minister died yesterday from a suspected heart attack after confronting Israeli security forces in West Bank demonstration

Displaced Iraqis, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, queue for humanitarian aid that is being distributed by the Barzani Charity Foundation after being delivered by lorries from the Polish charity SOS FOR LIFE at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Displaced Iraqis, who were forced to flee their home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, queue for humanitarian aid that is being distributed by the Barzani Charity Foundation after being delivered by lorries from the Polish charity SOS FOR LIFE at a refugee camp near Zakho in Duhok, Iraq

 Israeli Orthodox jews seen protesting on December 10, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. Orthodox jews are protesting the building of a new neighbourhood in Jerusalem, because of fears it will destroy an ancient Jewish tomb at the site.

Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Israeli Orthodox jews seen protesting on Wednesday in Jerusalem, Israel. Orthodox jews are protesting the building of a new neighbourhood in Jerusalem, because of fears it will destroy an ancient Jewish tomb at the site

A woman carries a child as she walks past a boy selling yogurt along a street in Aleppo's Bab al-Hadeed district December 10, 2014.

Mahmoud Hebbo/Reuters

A woman carries a child as she walks past a boy selling yogurt along a street in Aleppo’s Bab al-Hadeed district on Wdnesday

A Palestinian man and his son are seen in the living room of their house which was destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led militants, on Decembre 10, 2014 in Gaza City. The Israeli military committed war crimes during its Gaza offensive this summer and must be investigated, human rights monitor Amnesty International yesterday.

Mohammed Abed/AFP

A Palestinian man and his son sit quietly in what was the living room of their house, which was destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led militants, on Wednesday in Gaza City

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims make their way to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad, December 10, 2014. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura.

Ahmed Saad/Reuters

A police officer stands guard as Shia pilgrims head to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the holy Shia ritual of Arbaeen, in Baghdad on Wednesday. Arbaeen falls 40 days after the holy day of Ashura