Israel

Scoop: Kushner expected to meet Netanyahu and Gantz on Israel trip

Kushner and Netanyahu. Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Jared Kushner will travel to Israel during the last week of October, Israeli officials tell me. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Benny Gantz, the man seeking to replace Netanyahu as prime minister.

Why it matters: Kushner knows Netanyahu well after their many meetings, but this will be his first meeting with Gantz since his entry into politics. This is another acknowledgement by the Trump administration, which had dealt solely with Netanyahu for two and a half years, that Gantz is a key political player in Israel.

Israeli-American woman hostage to rejected Russian prisoner swap, officials say

Photo: Naama Issachar/Instagram

Russia attempted to use an Israeli-American woman sentenced today to 7.5 years in prison on drug charges as a bargaining chip in a failed prisoner swap, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Russia's proposed prisoner swap included the release of Naama Issachar, who was sentenced on Friday in Moscow, in exchange for a Russian hacker set to be extradited to America. Israeli officials tell me they believe Russia's security services were behind the effort, and that the affair will inflame tensions between the countries.