Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Debbie Hill/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and their two children will fly on a private plane to the signing ceremony of the Israel-UAE normalization deal next week in Washington, D.C. — separate from the rest of the Israeli delegation.

Why it matters: The unprecedented move comes amid a growing health and economic crisis in Israel. Later on Thursday, the Israeli Cabinet voted in favor of a renewed general lockdown across the country due to the dramatic rise in new COVID-19 cases. This will be the first time Netanyahu leaves Israel since the coronavirus outbreak.

Usually the prime minister travels on official trips abroad in a chartered El Al plane. The Prime Minister's Office already booked an Israir plane for the delegation, but simultaneously decided to book a separate flight for the Netanyahu family. The story was first published on Channel 13 news.

What they're saying: Netanyahu's spokesperson Shir Cohen said in a statement that the reason for chartering a jet for the family was a directive from the security department in the Prime Minster's Office "out of concern that the prime minister might be infected in a flight with more than 70 passengers."

  • She added that the cost of flying in two separate planes will be half the price tag of Netanyahu's most recent trip to the U.S. last January.
  • The family's spokesperson Ofer Golan confirmed that Netanyahu's children Yair and Avner will join him on the private jet, but said both children will pay for their flights themselves according to a rate that will be decided by the chief financial officer for the Prime Minister's Office.

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Sep 15, 2020 - World

Kushner expects more countries to normalize with Israel before Palestinian deal

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told CNN on Tuesday that he expects more Arab countries to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing relations with Israel before Palestinian leadership agrees to a peace deal.

Why it matters: After hosting a White House signing ceremony on Tuesday that formalized diplomatic ties between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, President Trump told reporters that he expects seven to nine more countries — including possibly Saudi Arabia — to agree to a similar move.

Sep 16, 2020 - World

UAE-Israel treaty states commitment to meeting the needs of Israelis and Palestinians

U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd R), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd L), UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani (L) attend a signing ceremony for the agreements on "normalization of relations" reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain at the White House in Washington, United States on September 15, 2020. Photo:
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates states that both countries are committed to "working together for a negotiated solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will meet the aspirations and needs of both parties."

Why it matters: The Emiratis face criticism from the Palestinians over their peace treaty with Israel. Officials involved in the negotiations on the text of the treaty told me the Emiratis wanted to include language on Palestinians in the document. The Emiratis wanted stronger language, but Israel did not agree.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.