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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

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.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.