Israel on Monday will begin offering a third dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine as a booster shot for people with weakened immune systems, according to the Times of Israel.
Why it matters: It's one of the first countries to offer booster shots to bolster protection against the rapidly spreading Delta variant. The Israeli Health Ministry is still determining whether an extra shot should be offered to the general public.
The State Department's top official on Israeli-Palestinian issues will travel to Jerusalem on Sunday for talks with the new Israeli government and Palestinian officials, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: This will be the first visit by a senior U.S. official since the formation of the new Israeli government and also comes as the Palestinian Authority is going through a deep domestic political crisis over the killing of political activist Nizar Banat by security forces.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has made foreign policy adviser Shimrit Meir his primary point of contact to the White House, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: Meir is expected to play a role similar to the one played under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by former ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Jordan secretly last week and met with King Abdullah II at his palace in Amman, a former Israeli official tells Axios.
Why it matters: This was the first meeting between the king and an Israeli prime minister in more than five years. It follows a long period of tensions between Abdullah and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and comes as Bennett attempts to reset the relationship.
The Biden administration has criticized the Israeli military's demolition of a home in the West Bank owned by the family of a Palestinian American accused of carrying out a terror attack in May.
Why it matters: This is the first time since the new Israeli government was formed that the Biden administration has criticized its actions in the West Bank.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has launched an Iran policy review to be concluded before his first meeting with President Biden, which is likely to take place in late July, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: Bennett is in the process of shifting Israeli foreign policy on several fronts, with a particular focus on the Iran file. While Bennett and his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu are both Iran hawks, Bennett is considering taking Israeli policy in a new direction.
Israel and South Korea have agreed to exchange 700,000 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Israeli Prime Minister's office announced Tuesday.
Why it matters: The deal marks the world's first COVID-19 vaccine swap, and could prove to be a template for other governments, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Israel Foreign Ministry officials have been lobbying the State Department to hold off on reopening the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem to avoid creating difficulties for the new government, Israeli officials tell me.
Why it matters: Israel's new government contains an unstable mix of parties with opposing views, and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing the consulate issue to portray the government as weak and unable to stand up to the Biden administration.
The U.S. and Israel are working to coordinate a White House visit for new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in July, three Israeli officials and two U.S. sources told me.
Why it matters: It's another sign that the Biden administration wants to help stabilize the new and fragile Israeli government.
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. resigned on Sunday, hours after welcoming Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to D.C., where he will meet on Monday with President Biden at the White House.
Why it matters: Gilad Erdan's decision comes as the Biden administration and new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett feel each other out, particularly on the most contentious issues like Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.