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Jared Kushner. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that the Saudi government agreed to allow all eastbound flights from Israel to pass through its airspace, rather than just flights from Israel to the United Arab Emirates.

Why it matters: Although Saudi Arabia did not follow the UAE in normalizing relations with Israel, opening its airspace is a meaningful step that will influence tourism and the economy.

What he's saying: Kushner said that every flight from Israel that will ask for a permit to fly through Saudi airspace will receive it. He thanked Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the gesture and stressed that both feel strongly about the Palestinians.

  • Kushner emphasized that the tide is turning in the Middle East and Arab countries don't want their progress to be interrupted by the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains stuck.

Kushner called on the Palestinians to come back to the negotiating table and said the Trump plan is still up for discussion and could be improved if the Palestinians bring a counter offer.

  • "But we are not going to chase them," Kushner noted.

Kushner held the briefing ahead of the signing ceremony for the U.S.-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE next Tuesday in Washington, D.C. He added that the White House wants the ceremony to be bipartisan and will invite both Democratic and Republican senators and members of congress.

Go deeper

Dec 9, 2020 - World

Biden and Netanyahu are on a collision course over Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

The incoming Biden administration and the Israeli government are on a collision course over the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Why it matters: There is a growing gap between Biden’s stated intention to re-enter the deal and Israel’s expectations and public demands against it.

Top 2020 Dems wouldn't reverse Trump's Jerusalem embassy decision

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Democratic presidential front-runners have accepted President Trump's Jerusalem move.

The bottom line: Over the last week, Axios reached out to all of the top tier candidates, and not one of them — including former Vice President Joe Biden — would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv.

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.