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David Friedman watches Jared Kushner speak at the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said in a rare statement today that President Trump will release his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan at a time that will allow its best chance for success.

Why it matters: Friedman confirmed my story from last week about a high-level meeting Trump held with his White House "peace team" to discuss the contents of the peace plan and the timing for its release. Trump said in late September that he wanted to publish the long-awaited plan between December and February.

  • Friedman wrote in his statement that he had a "very productive meeting" last week in the Oval Office to discuss the peace plan with White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt that also included Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton.
  • He rejected a report in the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper which said that Trump decided to postpone to release of the plan until February. Friedman said: "I would like to reaffirm that the United States remains committed to sharing its vision for peace with Israel, the Palestinians and other regional and international stakeholders at the appropriate time."
  • He added that the White House intends to release the peace plan "when the Administration concludes that we have maximized its potential for acceptance, execution and implementation."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

7 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.