Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Hamdallah arrives in Gaza City on March 13. Photo: MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images

Jared Kushner and U.S. special envoy Jason Greenblatt sent letters last week to Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and to the director of Palestinian intelligence General Majid Faraj after they survived an assassination attempt in Gaza. Kushner and Greenblatt wrote that Gaza should be governed by the Palestinian Authority and not by Hamas and stressed that "working together we can bring a better future to all Palestinians".

The backdrop: Kushner and Greenblatt sent the letters at a time when there is almost total disconnect between the Palestinian leadership and the White House. After Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended all contacts with the Trump administration except for security and intelligence coordination.

Al-Masdar was first to report about the letters. I was shown a copy, dated March 15th. Kushner and Greenblatt wrote they were relieved Hamdallah and Faraj were unharmed and praised their commitment to promote critical infrastructure projects in Gaza.

Kushner and Greenblatt added:

"The attack underscores that only the Palestinian authority in cooperation with regional and international partners can provide Gaza with freer more prosperous future…Gaza needs responsible government — not militant and extremist groups that seek conflict and are profoundly unfit to govern Gaza".

Hamdallah and Faraj haven’t sent a letter in response. A senior White House official told me, "We didn’t send the letters to get a response or in order to get them back to the table. The goal was to show we sympathize".

The White House official said Kushner and Greenblatt continue to work on the administration's Middle East peace plan, and discussed it with length this week with Saudi crown price Mohammed Bin Salman, who is visiting Washington.

The White House official told me Abbas's verbal attacks against U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman were answered with a strong pushback from the White House, but do not weaken the Administration's resolve to try and promote Israeli and Palestinian peace

The White House official added: "We are keeping our heads down and trying to be professional throughout the process. We continue with our work in hope we can take the next step and we are not going to let the Palestinian leadership's rhetoric stop us. We need to finish the plan and determine what the right conditions are to release the plan".

A day after sending the letters to Hamdallah and Faraj, Greenblatt also sent a letter to the family of Hadar Goldin, an Israeli IDF officer who was killed in the 2014 war and whose body is in the hands of Hamas in Gaza. Grenblatt told them he used the White House summit on Gaza to call on Hamas to give back the bodies of Israeli soldiers it holds and release the missing Israeli citizens it holds as prisoners.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.