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Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke on the phone with President Trump on Saturday.

Why it matters: Israel is closely following the Trump-Putin summit, which takes place Monday in Helsinki, Finland. One of the main issues in the summit will be a possible deal on the future of Syria. Israel wants Iranian forces, Hezbollah and pro-Iranian Shia militias out of Syria in any future deal. Israel is concerned about possible pullout of U.S. forces from Syria, which will allow further entrenchment of Syrian forces in the country.

Israeli officials told me Netanyahu called Trump to coordinate before the Helsinki summit tomorrow between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. The White House still hasn't given any details about the call.

What they are saying: During the phone call last night Netanyahu briefed Trump on the talks he had with Putin in Moscow last Wednesday. Netanyahu said at the top of the cabinet meeting today that he thanked Trump for his policy against Iran "which shows it is affecting Iran both domestically and regionally". Netanyahu said Trump reiterated his commitment for Israel's security during the phone call.

What to watch: Netanyahu said last week after his meeting with Putin that he told the Russian president that Israel will have no problem with Assad staying in power in Syria as long as the Iranian and pro-Iranian forces leave the country.

  • Netanyahu's position is on the same page with U.S. policy.
  • National Security Adviser John Bolton told CBS earlier in July that the strategic issue in Syria is Iran and not Assad.

The big question mark: What happens if Trump puts a deal along those parameters on the table during the summit.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.