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Photo: Israeli Prime Ministry handout via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assured the U.S. he won't move forward with annexation in the West Bank without White House consent, and “we are not going to give him such consent for some time," Jared Kushner told reporters today.

Why it matters: Netanyahu agreed to suspend his annexation plans in order to strike a normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates, but stressed afterwards that the suspension was temporary.

  • Kushner contended in a conference call today that Israel's focus is now on building relationships in the Arab World, not on annexation.

What he's saying: Kushner also said he expects Palestinian leaders to come back to the negotiating table now that Israel has given up its annexation plans.

Where things stand: Palestinian leaders have refused to speak to the White House since President Trump announced in 2017 that he'd be moving America's embassy to Jerusalem.

  • They rejected the Trump peace plan, unveiled this January, and have resisted ongoing pressure from the Trump administration to negotiate over its proposals.
  • Palestinian leaders have also emphatically opposed the Israel-UAE deal, as well as the idea that Israel's decision not to announce annexations was something to be celebrated.

What he's saying: Kushner insisted that the Palestinians got what they wanted on annexation, but still refuse to engage.

  • “The Palestinian leadership’s credibility is falling to an all time low. There is a lot of frustration about the Palestinian leadership from their allies. I don’t see how their actions will lead to a better life for the Palestinians," he said.

What to watch: Arab countries had long conditioned normalization with Israel on ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinians are now concerned that more countries will follow the UAE, and they will lose their diplomatic leverage over Israel.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Updated Nov 24, 2020 - World

Tracking Biden's first calls to world leaders

Combination images of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: NZ Prime Minister's Office/Instagram/Joe Raedle/Getty Images

One ritual of becoming president-elect is the carousel of congratulatory phone calls with other world leaders.

What to watch: The order in which the calls are returned is watched closely around the world.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
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Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months: