This is while Netanyahu is known for having seriously dimmed the prospect of a deal with Palestinians by, among other things, catering to the demands of the far-right extremists in his ruling coalition. One manifestation of such catering has been the expansion under Netanyahu of settlement construction in occupied territories, which the Palestinians want as part of a future state.
That construction has raised concerns the world over and is specifically blamed for a failure to reach a deal already.
On his arrival in the occupied territories, Trump said there was “a rare opportunity” to bring peace to the Middle East and indicated that a deal with the Palestinians was integral to a new regional alignment.
But while Trump has boasted of his purported deal-making capabilities, it was not clear what he specifically planned to do to broker a deal between the Palestinians and the Israelis, especially given the tight grip of the Israeli far-right on Netanyahu and the vast expansion of settlements in recent years.
On Monday, Palestinians held protests against Trump’s trip. Israeli forces clashed with the demonstrators at the Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The protesters were carrying placards bearing pictures of Trump and reading “US policy is shameful to humanity.”
A similar rally was held in the city of Rafah in the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip, where the Palestinians burnt US and Israeli flags as well as an effigy of the US president.