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Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet tomorrow in Abu Dhabi with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, sources familiar with the matter tell me.

Why it matters: Netanyahu will use the trip — which comes less than two weeks before the Israeli elections — to rally his base and stress his foreign policy advantage over his less experienced rivals.

  • This will be the first-ever official trip by an Israeli prime minister to the UAE and the first trip for Netanyahu since the signing of the Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain at the White House.

The state of play: Netanyahu is in need of a boost. His right-wing bloc is short of the 61 seats needed for a majority in the latest polls.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu raised the possibility of the visit in a phone call with the crown prince 10 days ago, but the Emiratis hesitated due to concerns about perceived interference in the Israeli elections.

  • Netanyahu sent Yossi Cohen, director of the Mossad intelligence agency, to press his Emirati counterparts, sources familiar with the matter tell me.
  • The Emiratis sent signals that they'd rather postpone the visit until after the elections, but Netanyahu and Cohen pressed hard until the Emiratis agreed.

Worth noting: Netanyahu will spend only a few hours on the ground. It's unclear whether he gave the Emiratis anything in return for the visit.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

5 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.

6 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.