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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been silent on the U.S. elections, and unlike many world leaders still hasn't congratulated President-elect Joe Biden.

What they're saying: Netanyahu aides say he is "waiting for the official results."

Why it matters: Netanyahu released a video congratulating President-elect Trump the morning after the 2016 election. Netanyahu, who had a very close relationship with Trump, wants to wait as long as possible, in the hopes that Trump will concede.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu's office sent talking points to Likud ministers for press interviews earlier on Saturday, one of which said that Israel will work with Biden and the Democrats, much like it worked with Trump and the Republicans.

  • Netanyahu’s office also asked Likud ministers to stress in interviews that Israel hopes the Biden administration continues to push forward normalization between Israel and Arab states and keep a tough policy regarding Iran.
  • The prime minister's office also wants to be sure Biden does not roll back Trump decisions like recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights or moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden turns the page on Trump's Israel-Palestine policies

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: David Furst/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.

Biden's two-step negotiating process

President Biden departs Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/Pool/AFP via Getty

President Biden's summit "reset" was less about trying to make a friend out of Russia than reframing what the U.S. believes can be accomplished by engaging with President Vladimir Putin.

Driving the news: The Geneva meeting yielded no immediate breakthroughs beyond agreements about ambassadors returning to work and plans to launch talks on nuclear security. But in classic Biden fashion — aviators on, jacket off and a one-liner about invading Russia he had to clarify was a joke — the U.S. president used a post-summit news conference to explain his approach.