The Trump administration insists that it has a plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But prospects for "the ultimate deal," as U.S. President Donald Trump calls it, are rapidly dwindling as Palestinians lose faith in the United States as an honest broker for peace. A series of decisions that favor Israel, the most recent being the termination of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians, have convinced Palestinians that the U.S. seeks to impose an unfair deal on them.

Every U.S. administration has a special relationship with Israel, but Palestinians suspected that the Trump administration's tilt toward Israel was unique. Its ambassador to Israel is a right-wing Israel advocate who has dismissed the "two-state solution" — a cornerstone of peace negotiations for decades — as "a suicidal peace." Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and the architect of the administration's peace plan, has long supported right-wing settlers as well. And the president himself has been assiduously courted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees in Trump an ally and partner whose views of Middle East dynamics match his own.

Concerns crystalized last year when Trump declared that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That city is claimed by Israelis and Palestinians as their capital and its disposition was considered a piece of the peace puzzle that would be determined in the final stages of negotiations. Trump's move removed a big bargaining chip and he got no reciprocal concessions from Israel. In response, Palestinian leaders cut ties with the U.S. and have not met with negotiators since then.