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

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Jared Kushner in Warsaw. Photo: Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In a rare interview, Jared Kushner, who leads the White House "peace team," told Sky News Arabia that the upcoming U.S. peace plan will focus on "drawing the borders" between Israel and the Palestinians and solving the core issues in the conflict.

Why it matters: The details of the plan, which is expected to be revealed after the April 9 elections in Israel, have been a closely held secret. The forthcoming plan has already become an issue in Israel's election campaign, and Kushner's remarks today drew reactions from the key political players.

Kushner gave the interview during a trip to the Middle East that includes stops in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. One of the goals of the trip is to rally support from the leaders and influence public opinion in the Gulf states.

  • Kushner said in the interview that the plan will include practical solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will be just but also relevant to the reality of 2019. Kushner said the pillars of the plan will be freedom, dignity, security and economic prosperity.
  • On the secrecy surrounding the plan, Kushner said that in past negotiations, details leaked ahead of time, which caused political leaders on both sides to backtrack.
  • Kushner also said that the Trump peace plan envisions the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip united under one leadership and one government — unlike the current division between Fatah (in the West Bank) and Hamas (in Gaza).

What they're saying: Naftali Bennett, the leader of Israel's New Right party, said the comments were proof Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump were coordinating on the timing and the details of the peace plan. Bennett said, "There is a clear danger that Netanyahu will form a government after the elections that will establish a Palestinian state."

  • Netanyahu, who said in a speech last week that a Palestinian state would endanger Israel, said, "I protected the land of Israel against the hostile Obama administration and I will keep on doing it with the supportive Trump administration."

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.

4 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.

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