Graffiti resembling that of British street artist Banksy has appeared on Israel’s concrete security barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, mocking Donald Trump’s apparent love of walls.
In one work, the US president is depicted hugging and kissing an Israeli watchtower built into the wall, his left arm reaching around the tower suggestively, with little pink hearts fluttering from his mouth.
In the other mural, Trump is shown wearing a Jewish skullcap and placing his hand on a wall – a scene taken from his May visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism.
In a speech bubble, Trump is shown telling the concrete wall “I’m going to build you a brother” – a reference to his plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico, possibly inspired by Israel’s controversial barrier.
It has not yet been confirmed whether the murals are the work of Banksy, but they do share a likeness to his signature style.
The new pictures popped up just yards away from where the elusive artist opened ‘The Walled Off Hotel’ earlier this year. It sarcastically billed itself as having the “worst view in the world.”
The hotel was decorated with Banksy’s trademark political murals, including one in ‘Banksy’s Room,’ which shows a masked Palestinian and a helmeted Israeli soldier in a pillow fight.
Banksy has previously created art on the West Bank barrier, including a dove in a flak jacket and a little girl frisking an Israeli soldier.
Last year, he is believed to have sneaked into Gaza to draw four street murals, including one on a metal door that depicted the Greek goddess Niobe cowering against the rubble of a destroyed house. The painting, called ‘Bomb Damage,’ was drawn on the last remaining part of a two-story house that was destroyed in the 2014 war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
Israel started building the barrier a decade ago, at the height of an armed Palestinian uprising. It said the wall is needed to keep suicide bombers and gunmen from entering Israel.
Palestinians say the barrier, which slices off about 10 percent of the West Bank, amounts to a land grab that stifles people’s movement.
Trump said early on in his term that he would try to broker a deal between Israel and Palestine, but has so far failed to offer a way forward.