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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Huge Trump murals appear on West Bank barrier

In one scene, Trump is shown hugging and kissing a real Israeli army watchtower built into the wall, as his left arm reaches around the tower. Little pink hearts flutter from Trump's mouth.

A mural resembling the work of elusive artist Banksy depicting President Donald Trump wearing a Jewish skullcap, is seen on Israel's West Bank separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. AP
A mural resembling the work of elusive artist Banksy depicting President Donald Trump wearing a Jewish skullcap, is seen on Israel's West Bank separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. AP

Two murals showing an oversized President Donald Trump have appeared on Israel's West Bank separation barrier, just yards from where the elusive artist Banksy decorated a hotel earlier this year.

The new drawings popped up on the edge of Bethlehem, the Palestinian city where the barrier largely consists of a wall of towering slabs of concrete.

In one scene, Trump is shown hugging and kissing a real Israeli army watchtower built into the wall, as his left arm reaches around the tower. Little pink hearts flutter from Trump's mouth.

In another drawing, Trump is depicted wearing a Jewish skullcap and placing a hand a wall — a scene taken from the US president's May visit to Jerusalem's Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray. A cartoon "thought bubble" next to him says, "I'm going to build you a brother," a possible reference to Trump's plans to build a wall between the US and Mexico.

The murals were signed "lushsux" — a signature that according to a 2016 report by the Australian newspaper The Age has been used in the past by a Melbourne street artist. The artist was among those who participated in a Banksy show in Britain in 2015, the report said.

A Twitter account in the name "lushsux" published the mural of Trump with his hand on a wall on Monday.

The new graffiti is just a few metres from The Walled Off Hotel, a Palestinian-run guest house that opened earlier this year and bills itself as having the "worst view in the world."

The nine-room hotel was decorated with Banksy's trademark political murals, including one in "Banksy's Room" that shows a masked Palestinian and a helmeted Israeli soldier in a pillow fight.