Stories by Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 news

Scoop: Luxembourg pushes EU to recognize Palestine in response to Trump policies

Germany and Luxembourg's foreign ministers
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (L) talks with Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn is pushing for all member states of the European Union to recognize Palestine, a reaction to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the U.S. doesn’t see the Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, European officials tell me.

Why it matters: Luxemburg is one of the smallest countries in the EU, but Asselborn — who has served in his position for 15 years — has significant standing and influence among Europe's foreign ministers.

Rare rift: Netanyahu insists he raised West Bank annexation with Pompeo

Netanyahu (L) and Pompeo. Photo: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has found himself in a battle of narratives with the Trump administration over whether he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed Israeli annexation of the West Bank's Jordan Valley during a meeting on Wednesday in Lisbon, Portugal.

Why it matters: There has been virtually no daylight between the Trump administration and Netanyahu's government for three years. This back-and-forth comes with Israel likely headed for its third election campaign in less than a year, in which annexation of the Jordan Valley will again be a prominent talking point for Netanyahu.

Netanyahu says he discussed West Bank annexation, defense treaty with Pompeo

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Handout / Handout/Getty Images

Lisbon — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a briefing to reporters in Lisbon that in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, they discussed the issue of Israeli annexation of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank and they agreed to push the issue of a U.S.-Israeli defense treaty.

Why it matters: Both issues were prominent in Netanyahu's campaign last September and are expected to be focal points in his upcoming campaign that could launch in less than a week.