A moment 70 years in the making: Prince William arrives in Israel for official Royal visit
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A moment 70 years in the making: Prince William arrives in Israel for official Royal visit

Second-in-line to the throne greeted in Tel Aviv by dignitaries as he begins three-day visit to the Jewish state, which will include Jerusalem's holy sites

  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

 Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. P

 Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. P Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

 Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

 Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire
  • Israel's envoy to the UK Mark Regev greets Prince William at Ben Gurion
    Israel's envoy to the UK Mark Regev greets Prince William at Ben Gurion
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

 Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
  • The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

 Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
    The Duke of Cambridge arrives at Israel Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge made history when he stepped onto Israeli soil for the first official royal visit, on behalf of the Government, since the country’s founding 70 years ago.

The second in line to the throne was greeted by dignitaries upon disembarking from the plane, including Israel’s UK Ambassador Mark Regev.

William’s hugely symbolic trip is something he has been keen to do and will see him sit down for talks with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

He arrived in Israel on Monday evening after flying to the Jewish state from Jordan’s capital, Amman.

William’s five-day tour of the region is his most high-profile foreign trip and the first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories by a member of the monarchy on behalf of the Government.

Prince William will open his visit to Israel with a trip to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial museum, and he’ll be accompanied by  Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

At Yad Vashem, he will hear the testimony of a Holocaust survivor and a Kindertransport refugee, before laying a wreath at the Hall of Remembrance.

The Duke will then go on to meet Israeli leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

With a visit to Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories also planned, where he will meet Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, the tour will be a tough diplomatic test for the second-in-line to the throne, who will have to avoid straying into regional politics.

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While in Jerusalem, he will also view the Old City from a viewing point on the Mount of Olives before paying his respects at the tomb of his great grandmother Princess Alice, who is recognised by Yad Vashem at Righteous among the Nations for hiding Jews during the Shoah.

William will visit the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall, all in the Old City, which are not specifically listed on his schedule and could be labelled as private visits. His itinerary reportedly includes time for “allowing His Royal Highness to understand and pay respect to the religions and history of the region.”

William will be staying at the historic King David Hotel, and will not be accompanied by his wife, Katherine the Duchess of Cambridge, who recently gave birth to the couple’s third child.

Yesterday Prince William hailed Jordan’s decision to give refuge to more than 600,000 fleeing war in Syria – as well as Palestinian refugees – as “remarkable”. 

It comes during a period of tension in the area – dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during recent protests at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip in the run-up to celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

 

More to follow…

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