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Scoop: CIA director raised China concerns with Israeli prime minister
Scoop: CIA director raised China concerns with Israeli prime minister

It's the highest level at which the Biden administration has raised the issue.

Aug 18, 2021 - World
Biden and Netanyahu are on a collision course over Iran

Netanyahu has personally started campaigning against any return to the Iran deal

Dec 9, 2020 - World
The only Trump foreign policy Biden wants to keep

The push could help Biden build positive relationships with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders in the Persian Gulf.

Dec 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Israel's plan to influence Biden on Iran

“We don’t want to be left out again."

Nov 18, 2020 - World
Behind the scenes: How the Israel-UAE deal came together

The breakthrough came two months ago, amid the dispute over annexation.

Aug 13, 2020 - World

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16 hours ago - World

Netanyahu says he rejected plea deal that would ban him from politics

Photo: Emmanudel Dunand/AFP via Getty

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been hoping to reach a plea deal on the corruption charges against him before Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit left office at the end of January, but Mandelblit has reportedly notified Netayahu's lawyers that won't be possible.

Why it matters: The deal Mandelblit and Netanyahu had been discussing would have kept him out of prison but seen him banned from politics for seven years. Netanyahu broke his silence on the plea talks after they collapsed and said he'd never accepted the seven-year ban.

20 hours ago - World

Israel holds high-level tech summit with China, seeks to avoid U.S. backlash

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan visits Jerusalem in 2018. (Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty

To avoid tensions with Washington, Israel coordinated with the Biden administration in advance of a high-level tech and economy summit held virtually with Chinese officials on Monday, two Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Monday's summit, led by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, followed low-profile consultations on China last month between the U.S. and Israeli governments — a sensitive issue given U.S. concerns about Chinese investments in Israel.

Jan 19, 2022 - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

Jan 19, 2022 - World

Scoop: Israeli PM proposed a Russia-Ukraine summit in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Yevgeny Biyatov/Sputnik via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett proposed a Russia-Ukraine summit in Jerusalem to Russian President Vladimir Putin in their meeting last October, Ukrainian and Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israel is one of the few countries that has good relations with both Kyiv and Moscow and is able to pass messages between them. The Ukrainian side first broached the idea of a summit in Israel with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last spring when Russia was massing troops on the border, but it never gained much traction.

Jan 14, 2022 - World

Possible Netanyahu plea deal could force him out of politics

Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Amit Shabi/Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has for several weeks been negotiating a plea agreement with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, according to Israeli media reports.

Why it matters: One key sticking point is whether the deal, which would require Netanyahu to plead guilty to corruption charges, would also require the former prime minister to step away from politics. Any deal would create a political firestorm in Israeli and could bring down the current government.

Jan 12, 2022 - World

Israel PM gambles on no lockdown strategy as cases climb

Naftali Bennett. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is facing growing criticism as Israel continues to set new records for daily COVID cases, but he's decided to try to ride out the fifth wave without new lockdowns.

Why it matters: Bennett has taken a big bet that the Israeli health system will be able to withstand the Omicron wave.

Jan 5, 2022 - World

Biden administration presses Israel on Chinese investments

Biden with Bennett. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration and the Israeli government held low-profile consultations last month on China — a sensitive issue given U.S. concerns about Chinese investments in Israel.

Why it matters: The meeting on Dec. 14, led by deputy national security advisers from both sides, was the first wide-ranging consultation between the two countries on China since President Biden took office. The Israeli side aimed to keep it very discreet, fearing a backlash from Beijing.

Jan 5, 2022 - World

Palestinians press Biden to take more active role in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Abbas (right) meets Sullivan. Photo: Palestinian Presidency handout via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned national security advisor Jake Sullivan in their recent meeting that more active U.S. diplomatic engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is needed to avoid a new crisis in the region, Palestinian Minister for Civilian Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh tells Axios.

Why it matters: After a diplomatic deep freeze under the Trump administration, the Palestinian leadership hoped Biden would be much more active in rolling back Trump’s policies and taking steps to advance the two-state solution. So far, they've been disappointed.

Jan 5, 2022 - World

Scoop: Israel's military intel chief says Iran deal better than no deal

Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (center) hosts a Cabinet meeting. Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Pool via Getty Images

The head of Israeli military intelligence told ministers during a Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday that Israel will be better off if the Iran nuclear talks lead to a deal rather than collapsing without one, two Cabinet ministers who attended the meeting tell me.

Why it matters: While Israel campaigned vigorously against the 2015 nuclear deal, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett continues to take hawkish positions on diplomacy with Iran, the statements from Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva reflect a broader shift in the thinking of the Israeli defense establishment.

Dec 30, 2021 - World

Israel approves 4th COVID vaccine dose for the immunocompromised

An Israeli man receives the COVID-19 vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan. Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images

Israel's top health official has approved the rollout of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to people most vulnerable to the virus, AP reports.

Why it matters: The country is the first to approve the fourth dose, as much of the world faces a surge in cases driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

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