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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) sitting next to Yossi Cohen in 2015. Photo: gali Tibbon/Getty Images

President Biden met on Friday with the director of Israel's spy agency Mossad, Yossi Cohen, and discussed Iran, a source familiar with the details tells Axios.

Worth noting: The White House kept the meeting, first reported by Channel 12 news in Israel, a secret and didn't issue a statement.

  • The White House has not yet responded to questions about the talks.

Driving the news: Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday morning about the Mount Meron stampede. It was unclear whether the meeting with Cohen took place before or after that call.

  • A source familiar with the meeting said it wasn't planned in advance and was organized on short notice while Cohen was in Washington, D.C. for other purposes.
  • Netanyahu briefed Cohen before the conversation with Biden on messaging regarding Iran and received an update from him after the meeting, the source said.

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - World

Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel for first time since 2006 war

A Hezbollah flag flies on the Lebanon side of the Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty Images

Hezbollah on Friday fired 19 rockets from southern Lebanon toward Israeli military outposts on the border between the two countries. Most were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and there were no casualties, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Why it matters: This is the first time Hezbollah has fired rockets on Israel and publicly taken responsibility since the 2006 war. It's a significant escalation in tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border in recent weeks.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker

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