Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Prince William arrives in Israel as part of regional tour

Prince William arrives in Israel as part of regional tour Prince William arrives in Israel as part of regional tour
Diane Mills | 26 June, 2018, 16:00

Prince William began the first-ever official royal visit to Israel on Tuesday with an emotional visit to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and a meeting with two survivors who escaped Nazi Germany for the safety of Britain.

The Duke of Cambridge's jet touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv last night following William's packed two days in Jordan.

Though the visit has been billed as "non-political", the official itinerary for William's visit to Jerusalem holy sites stirred political controversy by listing the Old City as being located in the "Occupied Palestinian Territories".

"It is important to emphasis that the Duke is not a political figure, this is not a political visit", he said.

Tomorrow, he will lay a wreath at Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, before meeting separately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

The Duke of Cambridge is commemorating the millions of Jews who died during the Second World War on a visit to Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem.

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Later in the week, he'll be travelling to the West Bank, where he will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah before wrapping up the trip in east Jerusalem to visit his great-grandmother's gravesite.

During his walk through the town, William was later greeted by a 2ft by 3ft enlargement of the now famous picture of his wife and her family.

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

Speaking before William's visit, Alexander, freshly back from a bicycle ride that retraced his life-saving voyage as a toddler, said he was chosen to meet the prince as the youngest member of the Kindertransport. The pair later watched the England-Panama World Cup match together.

The same day he visited the first century ruins, William - who's being hosted by Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II, the son of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania - also met with Syrian refugees including some who are learning photography skills as well as children who are receiving psychological support from a UNICEF Jordan program.

Henry Foner, who was fostered by a Jewish family in Swansea, Wales, and later served overseas for the British Army, said it was like a fairy tale for a refugee child like himself to meet a member of the royal family eight decades after the country rescued him.

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