In a first official visit by a British royal to Israel, Prince William landed last night in the Ben Gurion International Airport, after a brief visit to the country’s eastern neighbor, Jordan. The 36-year-old grandson of Queen Elizabeth and second in line to the throne, started his visit in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he paid homage to the six million Jews that were murdered during world-war-two.
Following the ceremony, Prince William was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his residence in Jerusalem, where the two discussed – among others – the historic significance of the United Kingdom in assisting the Jewish peoples to establish a nation state in their biblical homeland.
During the rest of his tour, Prince William is expected to visit religious sites, as well as the grave site of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, on the Mount of Olives. Prince willing will travel tomorrow, among other stops, to the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he is expected to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. While a spokesman for the prince, acknowledging the “well-known” and “complex challenges” in the Middle East – he emphasized that William’s tour, like other visits abroad by members of the British royal family, will be non-political.