It was the slap seen ‘round the world.
Melania Trump was in no mood to play along for the cameras Monday when her husband reached for her hand as they arrived in Israel under a blaze of media security.
The First Lady — elegant in a crisp white pencil skirt and blazer with dark glasses over her eyes — slapped President Trump’s hand aside with a sharp flick of her wrist as he reached for her.
The rebuff came as the couple disembarked from Air Force One in Tel Aviv and strode over to meet waiting dignitaries.
President Trump took the lead as he and his wife walked alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu was flanked by his wife, Sara, who was holding his hand.
With Melania lagging a half-step behind, Trump can be seen on video stretching his palm backward to catch her right hand.
But his wife of 12 years didn’t comply with the unspoken command — and slapped his hand away instead.
The President awkwardly adjusted his tie as the two kept walking without breaking stride.
Video of the exchange set off an intense debate on social media — with some wondering if Melania was just letting Trump know there wasn’t room for her to pull even with him on the narrow red carpet.
Melania got more touchy-feely as the day wore on and they toured the ancient city with in-laws Jared Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump.
The First Lady posed for a four-way hand-holding picture with Netanyahu, his wife and her husband.
The rest of Melania’s day was controversy-free. She and Sara Netanyahu met a group of young Jewish and Arab patients while touring Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Organization. The children, some wearing hospital pajamas, sat around a table and presented the women with pictures they had drawn.
The First Lady also handed out White House backpacks stuffed with puzzles, games and toys. The hospital dedicated a bench bearing both women’s names in honor of their visit.
She also at one point voluntarily grabbed Trump’s finger — wrapping two of her own around his — as they headed back to his helicopter, a gesture also caught by the cameras.
It’s not the first time Melania Trump, 47, has displayed some discomfort with the demands and expectations of being the First Lady.
At times she seems more aware of social niceties than her husband, like the time she nudged him to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem.
The President, attending his first White House Easter Egg Roll, forgot to take the patriotic pose as the Marine Band struck up the tune. Melania was caught on camera giving him a gentle prod.
The wifely gesture was the total opposite of the other big Melania social media moment — her 180-degree expression at Trump’s presidential inauguration.
In the brief clip, Melania — tucked behind her husband — was caught on camera beaming and nodding at him when he turned to make a casual remark.
The moment he turned away, her forced-smile faded and a frozen, despondent expression remained.
The video circulated online just one day after the presidential couple’s 12th wedding anniversary, prompting the #FreeMelania hashtag to pop up across social media.
Adding fuel to the speculation that Melania isn’t loving life in a media fishbowl, she’s refused to move to D. C. to live with the President in the White House.
She’s said she prefers to stay in their opulent digs in Manhattan, ostensibly while their son Barron, 11, finishes the school year. He’ll attend a prep school in Maryland next year, the family has said.
With News Wire services
With JASON SILVERSTEIN