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From L-R: Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner at the embassy opening. Photo: Israel Press Office /Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to recall the head of the PLO office in Washington in protest over the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

Why it matters: This move further deepens the crisis between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority. Since President Trump's December 6th announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian leadership has boycotted the White House and suspended almost all contacts with the Trump administration.

Where things stand:

  • The Palestinian boycott makes the White House ambition to launch a peace plan and new round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the upcoming months much more difficult to achieve.
  • Other than local contact with the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem and security and counter-terrorism cooperation with the CIA and the Pentagon, ties between Washington and Ramallah have been severed.
  • The Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement that Husam Zomlot, the envoy, had already left the U.S. and will arrive in Ramallah tomorrow.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
3 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.