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Trump and Netanyahu at the White House. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no longer plans to bring annexations in the West Bank before his Cabinet for a vote in the coming days, after being urged to slow down by the White House.

Why it matters: Netanyahu seemed to receive the green light he was looking for yesterday to go ahead with annexations of all Israeli settlements and much of the Jordan Valley — and he planned to act quickly. Now, he's taking a step back.

The backstory: Some in the White House were unhappy with Netanyahu's plan to quickly annex areas envisioned as part of Israel in the proposal President Trump unveiled yesterday.

  • U.S. officials tell me they had previously requested that Netanyahu not take such action right away.
  • "The president could not have been any clearer. This is a process and it will take time," one senior U.S. official says.
  • Netanyahu's aides, meanwhile, say they understood from their talks with the White House that they had the go-ahead.

Part of the confusion was due to contradictory messages from senior U.S. officials.

  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman briefed reporters on Tuesday that Israel could begin annexations as soon as they had domestic approval.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a similar message in an interview with me, saying Israel could move forward so long as its steps were consistent with Trump's plan.

On Wednesday, the message changed.

  • U.S. officials including Friedman said in press briefings and in private talks with Netanyahu's aides that a joint U.S.-Israeli committee needs to discuss the details of any annexation plans before they proceed.
  • Friedman said he didn't know how long that process would take.

Where things stand: Netanyahu's aides said the Cabinet would not be voting on annexation next week. One stressed that this was "a complex process that needs a lot of work on maps."

  • Netanyahu's spokesperson even deleted a tweet about the planned Cabinet vote.

The big picture: Israeli annexations in the West Bank could fundamentally change the status quo between the Israelis and Palestinians, imperil Israel's peace treaty with Jordan and spark an uprising among Palestinians.

  • They could also boost Netanyahu's chances in a March 2 election and become a central part of his legacy.

Go deeper: Netanyahu surrenders immunity, faces corruption trial

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: GLAAD finds top social media sites "categorically unsafe"

The leading social media sites — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — are all "categorically unsafe" for LGBTQ people, according to a new study from GLAAD, the results of which were revealed Sunday on "Axios on HBO."

The big picture: GLAAD had planned to give each of the sites a grade as part of its inaugural social media index, but opted not to give individual grades this year after determining all the leading sites would receive a failing grade.

Federal agency issues emergency declaration over fuel pipeline cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration said it's "working with" fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline to try and restart operations after a ransomware attack took it offline.

Why it matters: Friday night's cyberattack is "the most significant, successful attack on energy infrastructure" known to have occurred in the U.S., notes energy researcher Amy Myers Jaffe, per Politico. A regional emergency

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.