Middle East

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

Men sell firewood on a rainy day in the Duma neighbourhood of Damascus December 9, 2014. The graffiti on the wall reads, "For the liberation of the humans".

Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

Men sell firewood on a rainy day in the Douma neighbourhood of Damascus, Syria on Tuesday. The graffiti on the wall reads: “For the liberation of the humans.”

 An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State's advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.  Although the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq was already a refuge for an estimated 250,000 Syrian refugees, since the Islamic State began its onslaught on Iraq in June, Kurdistan has also taken in a more than one and a half million displaced people. Many have been placed in purpose-built refugee camps but the huge numbers mean thousands of others are forced to live in un-finished buildings or inadequate, makeshift shelters and as winter in the region closes in, there are growing concerns for the welfare of the refugees who, while their homes are still in ISIL controlled territory, have no realistic prospect of returning to them.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian, who fled from her home because of Islamic State’s advance earlier this year, hangs up washed clothes to dry besides a displaced persons’ camp near Umm al-Nour Church, which is now home to hundreds of displaced Iraqi Christians in Erbil, Iraq.

A Palestinian worker carries a hammer as he participates in efforts to clear the rubble of a school, that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the east of Gaza City December 3, 2014. According to housing minister Mufeed al-Hasayna, Gaza needs 8,000 tonnes of cement a day to meet demand. A new system set up with the United Nations to comply with Israeli requirements lets through at most 2,000, he said. At that rate, reconstruction would take more than 30 years, said Hasayna, one of four members of the unity government based in Gaza rather than the West Bank. Hasayna signed an agreement with the U.N. Development Programme and the Swedish government last week to equip and hire local contractors to clear and recycle rubble from northern Gaza

Suhaib Salem/Reuters

A Palestinian worker carries a hammer as he participates in efforts to clear the rubble of a school, that was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the east of Gaza City on Wednesday

Yemeni police gather at the damaged residence of the Iranian ambassador after a car bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. A massive car bomb exploded Wednesday morning in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, apparently targeting the home of the Iranian ambassador, Yemeni security officials said.

Hani Mohammed/AP

Yemeni police gather at the damaged residence of the Iranian ambassador after a massive car bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, on Wednesday morning

An Orthodox man prays at the Western Wall in the Old City on Tuesday in Jerusalem, Israel. As violence continues in Israel, an Israeli was stabbed and lightly injured Monday morning in the West Bank south of Jerusalem. Nine Israelis have been killed in a series of stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run attacks in Jerusalem over the past month, unsettling the ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years. The tension and violence on the streets of the city is threatening to further isolate communities and to encourage extremist politicians exploit the situation

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

An Orthodox man prays at the Western Wall in the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel, on Tuesday.

Participants compete in a running race along a street in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, a rebel-controlled area December 2, 2014.

Mahmoud Hebbo/Reuters

Participants compete in a running race along a street in Aleppo’s Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, a rebel-controlled area on Tuesday.

An Iraqi craftsman prepares to heat up metal at a workshop in a market in Baghdad on December 2, 2014. The International Monetary Fund said in its October World Economic Outlook that Iraq's gross domestic product is forecast to shrink by 2.7 percent this year, down from the 5.9 percent growth it forecast in April.

Ahmad Al-Rubate/AFP

An Iraqi craftsman prepares to heat up metal at a workshop in a market in Baghdad on Tuesday

Military honour guard stand outside the main building of the new Presidential Palace complex after a welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. Putin arrived in Turkey for a one-day visit and met with Erdogan at his huge new palace on once-protected farm land and forest in Ankara, becoming the second foreign dignitary after the Pope Francis to be hosted at the lavish, 1000-room complex.

Burhan Ozbilici/AP

Military honour guard stand outside the main building of the new Presidential Palace complex after a welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara, Turkey. Putin arrived in Turkey for a one-day visit and met with Erdogan at his huge new palace on once-protected farm land and forest in Ankara on Monday