Prince William's "historic" visit to the Middle East

Tonya Becker
June 26, 2018

William, on the first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories by a member of the British royal family, was greeted at the residence, against the backdrop of the Union Jack and the Israeli flag, by Netanyahu and his wife, Sara.

In a private 1994 visit to Yad Vashem, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, planted a tree there in his mother's honor.

Britain's Prince William lays a wreath during a visit at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on 26 June 2018.

Britain captured Palestine from the Ottoman empire in 1917 during World War One and administered the territory under global mandate until 1948, pulling out a day before Israel declared independence.

"Terrifying", William said, viewing a display at the memorial's museum of shoes taken by the Nazis from Jews at a death camp. I must say that this is not exactly true because there is a representative here, and this is his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, one of the Righteous Among the Nations who saved Jews in Greece during World War II and asked to be buried here in Jerusalem.

As well as being a major documentation and research centre, Yad Vashem puts emphasis on explaining the Holocaust through individuals' stories, their possessions and artefacts.

However, Prince William's father, Prince Charles, visited Israel in 2016 where he attended the funeral of former Israeli Prime Minister and President, Shimon Peres.

Neither William nor Netanyahu made any comment to reporters.William payed homage on Tuesday to the six million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust, in a solemn start to the first official visit by a British royal to Israel and the Palestinian territories. "The way in which you opened your doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria, not to mention your longstanding commitments to Palestinian refugees, is remarkable", William said, according to a statement on the Kensington Palace Twitter account.

But the BBC's Yolande Knell, who is in Jerusalem, said it would be extremely hard for the prince to keep it that way, despite the careful choreography of the trip. It's a high-profile foreign trip for William, second in line to the throne, and comes at a time of widening rifts between Israelis and Palestinians.

During the four-day visit, William is also scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian youngsters in the occupied West Bank.

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