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Photo: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

If re-elected next week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is considering annexing or extending Israeli law to parts of the West Bank which have been occupied by Israel in 1967, Netanyahu's aides told me.

Why it matters: The international community sees the West Bank as Palestinian occupied territory and the Israeli settlements there as illegal. The Trump administration has changed U.S. policy on the West Bank, and while not recognizing it as part of Israel, it does not designate it as occupied.

Netanyahu's aides told me the Prime Minister used to reject the idea of annexing the West Bank or extending the Israeli law to the West Bank, but that lately he changed his mind and is much more open to implementing such a move in the West Bank that will at least include the settlements.

Netanyahu's aides say the Prime Minister was encouraged to consider such a move by President Trump's decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. They added that if Netanayhu wins the elections and forms a right wing government, the annexation scenario will become much more likely.

The timing of such a move by Netanyahu will be connected to the launching of the Trump administration's peace plan. Netanyahu is expected to say yes to the plan with several reservations while the Palestinians are expected to reject the plan.

Netanyahu's aides say the Prime Minister thinks that in such a situation he will get a green light from the White House to annex parts of the West Bank, or at least extend Israeli law over some or all the Israeli settlements.

Go deeper

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats brace for staredown over paid family medical leave

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senior House Democrats are braced for battle with the Senate over whether paid family medical leave — a key priority for progressives — will be included in President Biden’s final budget reconciliation bill, lawmakers and aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has indicated he wants to cut the program to reduce the bill's price tag. “Paid family and medical leave must be in the final package,” Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told Axios on Monday.