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Netanyahu points at a map of the Jordan Valley, Sept, 10, 2019. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented four annexation scenarios in a meeting tonight with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi — from annexing 30% of the West Bank to a more symbolic annexation of a small amount of land, an Israeli official briefed on the meeting tells me.

Why it matters: Netanyahu has vowed to move forward with annexation of at least some territory in the West Bank as soon as July 1. He's been hoping for a green light from the White House, which has said it will only agree if Israel's top leaders are unified behind the plan.

In the room: Netanyahu and the speaker of Israel's parliament, Yariv Levin, presented maps for all four scenarios but did not say which they preferred, according to the official.

  • Gantz and Ashkenazi told Netanyahu they are opposed to any annexation in areas that have Palestinian inhabitants.
  • They want annexation to take place in a broader diplomatic context in which the Palestinians get something in return, the official says.
  • The meeting ended with no decisions or meaningful progress, but more discussions are expected in the coming days.

The big picture: Any unilateral Israeli annexation would be widely considered a violation of international law and fiercely opposed by the Palestinians, countries in the region including Jordan, as well as the European Union.

What to watch: The pushback against the annexation plan from America's Arab allies is getting stronger.

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto leader of the UAE, assured King Abdullah of Jordan today that the UAE would categorically reject "Israel's illegal annexation of Palestinian lands" and rally international opposition.
  • That unusually strong statement shows how adamant the UAE is in supporting Jordan's campaign against Israeli annexation.
  • King Abdullah has stressed Jordan's rejection of the plan in conference calls over the last two days with top leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and the foreign affairs committees in both chambers.

Go deeper: Trump administration coordinated ICC sanctions with Israel

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2020 - World

Israeli PM announces strict lockdown plan after record coronavirus cases spike

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an August news conference in Jerusalem. Photo: Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans for a "full lockdown" after Israel reported a new daily coronavirus cases record of 6,923 infections Wednesday.

Why it matters: Israel last Friday became the first developed country to re-enter lockdown. While schools, retailers and other businesses closed for the three-week measure, there are exemptions including for people to pray, go to work, exercise and protest. The new two-week restrictions that still needs Cabinet's full approval aims to address this, AP notes. "The goal is to reduce the rate of infection, and the goal is literally to save many lives in Israel," Netanyahu said.

23 mins ago - Technology

Facebook: Metaverse won't "move fast and break things"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook on Monday said it will invest $50 million over two years in global research and program partners to ensure its metaverse products "are developed responsibly."

Why it matters: "It's almost the opposite of that now long-abandoned slogan of 'move fast and break things,'" Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg told Axios in an interview at The Atlantic Festival Monday.

Ina Fried, author of Login
33 mins ago - Technology

Facebook presses "pause" on Instagram Kids

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook's announcement Monday that it was "pausing development" on Instagram Kids did little to slow a wave of criticism of the project ahead of a Senate hearing Thursday.

Yes, but: There's an argument to be made for building kids' versions of popular apps, even if their adult versions are causing real-world harms.