US President Donald Trump says the Israeli Prime Minister is the man to achieve peace, but his record in power suggests otherwise.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu is set to continue in his role as prime minister, based on unofficial election results. 

The Likud leader, who has been in office since 2009, received a glowing endorsement from US President Donald Trump both before and after the election.

Netanyahu tweeted on Wednesday that Trump had called to congratulate him on his re-election for a fifth term.

In a press conference, Trump called Netanyahu a ‘friend’ and said he represented the best chance of reaching a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.  

But the Israeli leader’s time in office says otherwise, marked as it has been by wars, conflicts, and attempts to annex occupied territory.

Here, TRT World looks at some of the things Trump may have missed.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017.
US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands after Trump's address at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem May 23, 2017. (Reuters)

1. Blocking peace initiatives with the Palestinians

When Netanyahu came to office, the then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a plan to recognise the Palestinian state, but Netanyahu immediately rejected the idea by issuing a set of guidelines that were all but unacceptable to the Palestinians. 

Netanyahu stated that he would accept a Palestinian state if Jerusalem were to remain the united capital of Israel, the Palestinians would have no army, and the Palestinians would give up their demand for a right of return for millions of refugees expelled by Israel and its descendants.

2. Wars against Palestinians

Under Netanyahu, there have been two major conflicts in Gaza and regular airstrikes there.

One of them was the 2014 Gaza War resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the besieged territory. 

The operation also led to the killing of 2,147 Palestinians, among them 578 children, 489 women and 102 elderly persons.

"When the Israeli offensive stopped in 2014, [a total of] 100,000 Gazans were not able to return to their homes, which were completely demolished,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said.

3. Warmongering against Iran 

Under Netanyahu, Israel has grown closer to Gulf autocracies, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The countries have formed a common front against what they see as the Iranian threat, but Netanyahu has led the way in lobbying for military confrontation with Tehran since coming to power in 2009.

US President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold up a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights as Netanyahu exits the White House from the West Wing in Washington, US March 25, 2019.
US President Donald Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold up a proclamation recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights as Netanyahu exits the White House from the West Wing in Washington, US March 25, 2019. (Reuters)

4. Annexation of occupied land in the Golan Heights 

In March, Israel  took the unprecedented step of annexing the Golan Heights, occupied Syrian territory which it captured during the 1967 war.

The move was immediately commented on by Trump, who said the US would move to recognise the annexation.

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Trump said in a tweet on March 21.

Minutes after Trump’s tweet, Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation: "At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognises Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!"

A masked Palestinian boy reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli forces during a protest marking Land Day and the first anniversary of a surge of border protests, at the Israel-Gaza border fence east of Gaza City March 30, 2019.
A masked Palestinian boy reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli forces during a protest marking Land Day and the first anniversary of a surge of border protests, at the Israel-Gaza border fence east of Gaza City March 30, 2019. (Reuters)

5. Shooting unarmed protesters in Gaza every week

Since March 30, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting every week on the border fence separating Gaza from Israel demanding the right to return to their homes on the the other side. And every week the Israeli response has been the same; to shoot at the protesters.

Israel has killed at least 183 people since the protests began, including 35 children, and has wounded more than 9,000 people.

Source: TRT World