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Hamas prime minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniya (R) hold up the signed reconciliation agreement as he speaks during a press conference with Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmed in Gaza. Photo: SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority turned down an invitation by the Trump administration to participate in a meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which will take place at the White House on March 13, according to a senior Palestinian official.

Why it matters: This is yet another example of the deep crisis between the Trump administration and the Palestinian leadership which erupted after the President's Jerusalem announcement on Dec. 6. Since then the Palestinians refuse to engage in talks with the White House.

What they're saying: Ahmad Majdalani, member of the PLO’s Executive Committee told the "Voice of Palestine" radio today that Gaza is a political issue and not a humanitarian issue.

  • He added: "The United States is well aware that the real cause of the tragedy of the Gaza Strip is the unjust Israeli siege. What is needed is a political solution to this issue, not a humanitarian."

President Trump's special envoy for Middle East peace Jason Greenblatt has revealed in an Op-Ed, published Thursday in the Washington Post, that a "Brainstorming session" on Gaza will take place next week "to find real solutions to the problems that Hamas has caused."

  • Greenblatt also revealed that a similar meeting took place in Cairo last Thursday.
  • Greenblatt didn't attend this meeting, which included representatives from the EU, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Norway (which heads the forum of international donors to the Palestinians).
  • The donor forum — also called the Ad Hoc Liaison committee — will convene in Brussels later this month.

Big picture takeaway from Greenblatt's op-ed: "As most people understand, an essential part of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, both in Gaza and the West Bank, will be resolving — and rebuilding — Gaza. The president has been clear that he wants a fair and enduring agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians that will enhance Israel’s security and give all Palestinians the opportunity for a prosperous future. We are ready to work with any party truly interested in peace to reach this goal. Solving the situation in Gaza is an important step toward resolving the ultimate problem."

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It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.