Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Prince William in Israel as part of historic regional tour

Prince William in Israel as part of historic regional tour

She said Israeli and Palestinian officials had pointed out to her it was a highly politicised place so people would be scrutinising his every step and every comment.

Prince William is retracing his wife's footsteps.

"I'm very grateful to Britain because it saved my life, it's as simple as that", said Foner, 86.

Prince William has made a deeply moving visit to Jerusalem's holocaust museum on his first full day of engagements in Israel. She was honoured by Israel for sheltering Jews during World War II. According to the itinerary, when Prince William visits Jerusalem's Old City and Judaism's holiest site, he will be doing so in "Occupied Palestinian Territory".

While Yad Vashem has identified over two thirds of the six million Jews murdered at the hands of the Nazis, the Hall has left empty shelves in recognition of the fact that many will forever remain unidentified.

Yad Vashem UK's chair Simon Bentley added: "Prince William's visit to Israel, as second-in-line to the throne, for the first official visit by a British royal is greatly appreciated".

He also has meetings planned with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

William met with two Holocaust survivors, Paul Alexander and Henry Foner, who as children had escaped from Nazi Germany to Britain as part of the "Kindertransport" program. Bearing witness then - as with this visit to Yad Vashem in Israel today - sends a powerful message to the world: we must never forget.

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He will stay in Jerusalem at the King David Hotel, the former headquarters of the British administration during the mandate in Palestine before the creation of Israel in 1948.

During the visit, William and Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein stopped in front of an enlarged photo on an easel that showed the Duchess of Cambridge, her father and younger sister Pippa posing against the backdrop of the Jerash ruins.

On Sunday, the Duke noted that his wife is "upset" to be missing the trip to Jordan.

Israel defines Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible" capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The prince will try to deftly dodge politics as he later visits east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed in a move not internationally recognized.

Although not confirmed, local Israeli media have been speculating about Prince William visiting the three major religious sites in Jerusalem; the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall.

"The duke is not a political figure".

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