All Israel stories

Updated Jul 12, 2021 - World

Israel offers COVID-19 vaccine booster shot as Delta variant spreads

A health care worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel, on July 5. Photo: Gil Cohen Magen/Xinhua via Getty Images

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.

Jul 9, 2021 - World

State Department’s point person for Israeli-Palestinian affairs to visit Jerusalem

Hady Amr (L) with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Palestinian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty

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.

Jul 9, 2021 - World

Israeli PM makes adviser Shimrit Meir his point person with the White House

Shimrit Meir

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.

Jul 8, 2021 - World

Scoop: Israeli prime minister took secret trip to Jordan to visit king

Naftali Bennett visits the Israeli president's residence. Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/AFP via Getty

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.

Jul 8, 2021 - World

U.S. criticizes Israel over demolition of family home of Palestinian American alleged attacker

The home was imploded by the Israel Defense Forces. Photo: AFP via Getty

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.

Jul 7, 2021 - World

Israel's new prime minister to update Iran policy before Biden meeting

Bennett. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.

Jul 6, 2021 - Health

Israel, South Korea agree to swap 700,000 COVID vaccines

Vials of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccination centre in the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality. Photo: Jack Guex/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Jun 30, 2021 - World

Israel asks U.S. to hold off on reopening Jerusalem consulate

Netanyahu (right) discussed the issue with Blinken in May. Photo: Alex Brandon/Pool/AFP via Getty

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.

Jun 28, 2021 - World

Israel and U.S. in talks on first Biden-Bennett White House meeting

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.

Jun 27, 2021 - World

Israeli ambassador to United States resigns

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan in his office at the Embassy of Israel to the United States in Washington, D.C. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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.