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The New Arab

Prince William to be first royal to visit the occupied Palestinian territories

Prince William will make his trip late next month [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 May, 2018

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Prince William will be the first British royal to make an official visit Palestine and Israel.

Prince William will be the first British royal to make an official to the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, Kensington Palace confirmed on Friday.

The prince will begin his 24 and 28 June trip in Amman, Jordan, then travel to Jerash in Jordan before he makes his way to Tel Aviv, Israel's capital city.

William will also visit Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's capital city and will end his trip in Jerusalem.

The first royal visit to Palestine comes at the British government's request.

Both Palestinian and Israeli leaders said they are looking forward to the visit.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's office said it was an important visit "which we hope will contribute to strengthening ties of friendship between the two peoples".

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying: "It is an historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be received here with great enthusiasm."

No British royal has ever made an official visit to Israel, whose occupation of the Palestinian territories is considered illegal by the UK.

William's father, Prince Charles, attended the 2016 funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private capacity.

The trip was announced earlier this year, but the dates and destinations were disclosed Friday.

US President Donald Trump broke with decades of policy in Washington in December by officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and pledged to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

The move took place on 14 May, amid the deadliest crackdown in years on protests in the Gaza Strip.

The UK - along with other world powers - slammed the US decision to move their embassy, while 128 nations backed a UN resolution rejecting the White House recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The House of Commons passed a Motion calling on the Government to recognise Palestine as an independent state in October 2014.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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