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The Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim as seen from East Jerusalem. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration has demanded that the Palestinian Authority release a Palestinian — and U.S. citizen — currently being held in Ramallah. The man, Isaam Akel, was arrested two months ago by the Palestinian General Intelligence Service for allegedly selling real estate in East Jerusalem to Israeli settlers.

Why it matters: The Palestinian Authority is cracking down on sales of land by Palestinians to Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to Palestinian law, such deals are illegal. The Palestinians claim Jewish settlers are trying to buy property from Palestinians in East Jerusalem to prevent the eventual establishment of a Palestinian capital there — and it's exacerbated by the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, move the U.S. embassy to the city and downgrade the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that conducted relations with the Palestinians.

What they're saying: U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who was given authority over U.S. relations with the Palestinians in addition to his portfolio as ambassador to Israel with the consulate downgrate, tweeted today that Akel's "suspected 'crime' is Selling land to a Jew. ... Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release."

The big picture: Relations between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority are at an all time law. The Palestinians have boycotted the White House since Trump's Jerusalem announcement. The only channel of communication between the parties is between the CIA and the Palestinian General Intelligence Service — the same agency which arrested Akel.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

CBC members nix border visit

A Haitian migrant carries a toddler on his shoulders today as he crosses the Rio Grande River. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus weighed visiting the U.S.-Mexico border this week to investigate the conditions faced by Haitian migrants and protest allegations of inhumane treatment by U.S. agents.

Why it matters: It's a thorny proposition both in terms of timing and messaging. Going assures a new wave of negative headlines for President Biden amid sinking popularity. And with congressional deadlines in the coming days over infrastructure, a possible government shutdown and debt-limit crisis, Democrats can't afford to lose any votes in the House.