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Macron (R) with Netanyahu. Photo: Haim Tzach - Pool/Getty Images

Several European leaders have sent personal letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days warning him against annexing parts of the West Bank, Israeli and European officials tell me.

Why it matters: Netanyahu is hoping for a green light from the U.S. to move ahead on annexations as early as July 1, but the letters from the leaders of Italy, France, Spain and the U.K. are signals of the strong international pushback Israel would face.

What they're saying: French President Emmanuel Macron wrote Netanyahu on Monday "in the spirit of friendship," to say that "unilateral steps in the West Bank... will undermine the stability in the Middle East."

  • Only dialogue with the Palestinians and a just and balanced solution will give Israel peace, security and stability," according to the text of the letter, seen by Axios.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a similar letter in coordination with the French, European and Israeli officials told me. It's unclear if German Chancellor Merkel also wrote to Netanyahu.
  • The Spanish and Italian prime ministers also stressed that any steps taken by Israel must result from negotiations with the Palestinians and comply with international law.

The big picture: The coalition deal that allowed Netanyahu to form his new government says he can bring "the understandings with the Trump administration" on annexation up for a vote in his Cabinet or the Knesset as early as July 1 — but only with the full agreement of the White House.

The latest: Netanyahu said on Monday that the July 1 deadline won’t change.

Go deeper: Palestinians say agreements with U.S. and Israel void due to annexation plans.

Go deeper

Sep 2, 2020 - World

Saudi Arabia to allow all Israel-UAE flights to use its airspace

Kushner speaks after landing in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Photo: Arim Sahib/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow all flights between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to pass through its airspace, following lobbying from the Trump administration.

The backstory: The UAE had made a formal request of the Saudis as part of their normalization deal with Israel, which includes commercial air travel between the countries.

2 hours ago - World

U.K. sends patrol ships to British island amid fishing dispute with France

The HMS Tamar, one of the two ships deployed to Jersey. Photo: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it has deployed two Royal Navy patrol vessels to the island of Jersey "as a precautionary measure," as tensions over fishing rights escalate with France.

Why it matters: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement the government took the action to protect Jersey against threats of "a blockade" of French fishing boats at the island, which is off the coast of northwest France.

Social media's "in-kind contribution to Biden"

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Facebook's continued suspension of Donald Trump's account extends the silencing of Joe Biden's most potent critic — and the current president's control over the national political narrative into his second 100 days.

Why it matters: Biden has been able to successfully focus on COVID-19 relief, his infrastructure plan and fielding his new administration, in part, because Trump hasn't been able to shake his social media muzzle and bray about the migration crisis or any White House misstep.