Apr 11, 2019

White House tries to reassure Palestinians over Trump's peace plan

Jason Greenblatt. Photo: Jaafar Aashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump's special envoy for Middle East peace said today that the forthcoming White House peace plan won't be "a sell out" for the Palestinians.

Between the lines: With the end of the Israeli elections, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's victory, the release of the White House peace plan could be imminent. Jason Greenblatt's public message was directed at the Palestinian leadership in an attempt to stress that the plan won't be as bad as they fear.

Why it matters: The Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration since December 2017 over the president's Jerusalem embassy announcement, but the White House still hopes they'll change course after seeing the peace plan. The Palestinian President said he will be ready to engage if the plan includes a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

What he's saying: Greenblatt tweeted today, "To the [Palestinian Authority]: Our plan will greatly improve Palestinian lives & create something very different than what exists. It’s a realistic plan to thrive/prosper even if it means compromises. It’s not a 'sell out' — if the plan isn’t realistic, no one can deliver it. The Palestinian future is in your hands — we hope you use your power wisely and in a way that helps Palestinians live happier and better lives. It’s time for them to thrive."

  • Netanyahu's nationalistic rhetoric on the campaign trail won't help the White House sell any peace plan the Palestinians might consider. He pledged to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected.

What's next: The White House peace plan isn't expected to be published until at least mid-June. The exact date will be influenced by the formation of the new Israeli government, the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Muslim month of Ramadan and other national days on both sides.

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Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.