Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks during the official handover of the newly built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), which will provide world-class rehabilitation facilities for members of the Armed Forces, on the Stanford Hall Estate in Nottinghamshire on June 21, 2018. / AFP / POOL / Oli SCARFF
Occupied Jerusalem: Prince William will next week become the first member of Britain’s royal family ever to pay an official visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Britain governed the region under a League of Nations mandate for almost three decades until Israel was established on Palestinian land 70 years ago, and is still blamed by both sides for sowing the seeds of a conflict that continues to wrack the region.
Second in line to the British throne, the 36-year-old will arrive Monday without his wife Kate, who in April gave birth to their third child, Prince Louis.
William’s visit comes at a particularly sensitive time after US President Donald Trump recognised Occupied Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moved Washington’s embassy there, sparking Arab outrage and deadly clashes on Israel’s border with Gaza.
Kensington Palace has underlined the “non-political nature of His Royal Highness’s role – in common with all royal visits overseas”.
But the official schedule’s reference to east Jerusalem as “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” has sparked particular anger among some right-wing Israeli politicians.
Israel seized and occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 War in a move never recognised by the international community.