* Syria ready for truce, Assad stays, US is left out President Vladimir Putin has announced that the Syrian government and rebels have signed a truce deal and are ready to begin peace talks.
* Mosul battle: Iraqi forces launch 'second phase' of attack Iraqi forces have launched a fresh wave of attacks against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, military officials say.
* Kerry's swan song: Settlers define Israel's future Netanyahu's reaction to Kerry's speech: "We do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace."
* Trump on Kerry speech: Something's going on and it's 'very unfair' to Israel Trump criticizes UN for its harsh stance on Israel, charging that the body had meanwhile failed to reprimand "horrible places that treat people horribly."
* Judge's decision 'encourages Waqf aggression on Temple Mount' Judge places lenient sentence on Waqf member who attacked Jew and stringent sentence on Jewish victim. Honenu appeals decision.
* Israel sees drop in aliya numbers The number of olim (new immigrants) to Israel declined in 2016, dropping from 31,000 in 2015 to 27,000 this year, according to preliminary.
* Abbas: I will renew negotiations, if Israel halts settlements, abides by agreements Maliki says no to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
* Donald Trump dismisses US sanctions threat to Russia President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed the US threat to increase sanctions against Russia, saying "we ought to get on with our lives".
* 6.58 million each: Palestinians claim they'll be as numerous as Jews in 'historic Palestine' in 2017 Counting Israeli Arabs, Palestinian officials posit demographic parity between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River by next year.
* Third of all Israelis to be Haredi in 50 years Israel is set to enter the new year with a population of 8,630,000, according to statistics published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Thursday afternoon.