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Kushner (R) with Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) in Abu Dhabi in August. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

A senior U.S.-Israeli delegation will travel to Morocco next Tuesday to begin talks on resuming diplomatic relations between Israel and Morocco, traveling on the first-ever direct flight of an Israeli airline from Tel Aviv to Rabat, U.S. officials told me.

Why it matters: The trip will take place 10 days after President Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize Western Sahara as part of Morocco, a historic and controversial decision that paved the way for Morocco to begin the process of normalizing diplomatic ties with Israel.

Between the lines: The reason the trip is happening so quickly after the announcement is so that the Trump administration can ensure the process starts moving before Jan. 20, out of concern the Biden administration might roll back some of Trump’s policy moves.

Details: The delegation will be headed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat.

  • The delegation will also include White House envoy Avi Berkowitz, International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Boehler, and senior Israeli officials from different government ministries.
  • Kushner and his team will arrive in Israel on Monday and hold meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi. They will travel the next day to Rabat on Flight No. 212 — the international calling code of Morocco.

Go deeper: Fallout between Trump and top GOP senator made Morocco-Israel deal possible

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden turns the page on Trump's Israel-Palestine policies

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: David Furst/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Senator Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Senator Leader Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

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