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Photo: Ronen Zvulun/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to move all security cabinet meetings from the prime minister's office to a high-tech underground secure bunker in Jerusalem which hosts the national crisis management center, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The decision comes as the threat of escalation with Iran is growing. The cold war between Israel and Iran turned hot in the last three months amid the struggle for influence in Syria. Israel increased its airstrikes against Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in Syria as part of an attempt to block and roll back Iranian military entrenchment in the war-torn country.

The Israeli officials said two recent security cabinet meetings were held in the secure bunker and, according to the schedules of several ministers, the next four security cabinet meetings are also set to take place in the sensitive facility.

  • Several cabinet members told me Netanyahu moved the security cabinet meetings to the underground bunker because of the fear of leaks from sensitive discussions on Syria and Iran. Staffers of cabinet ministers can't enter the facility and the ministers can't use their phones in the bunker.
  • Another reason is the fear of espionage by foreign intelligence services, as much harder to gather intelligence on meetings in the underground bunker.

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

The latest: Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters later on Saturday, "I decided to fight back as long as I can."

57 mins ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," Axios co-founder Mike Allen interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 28 at 6 pm. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
2 hours ago - World

Italy tightens COVID restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants

Health workers prepare vaccine doses in Iseo, Italy. Photo: Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.