Prince William pays first official British royal go to to occupied West Bank

JALAZONE CAMP, West Bank (Reuters) – Prince William paid the primary official British royal go to to the Palestinian Territories on Wednesday, touring a refugee camp within the Israeli-occupied West Bank and voicing hope for peace in a gathering with the Palestinian president.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures throughout his assembly with Britain’s Prince William in Ramallah, within the occupied West Bank June 27, 2018. Alaa Badarneh/Pool through Reuters

William, second in line to the throne, obtained a red-carpet welcome to the Muqata, the Palestinian government headquarters within the metropolis of Ramallah, that included an honour guard and band.

“I’m very glad our two countries work so closely together and have had success stories with education and relief work in the past, so, long may that continue,” William instructed President Mahmoud Abbas.

“My sentiments are the same as yours in hoping that there is a lasting peace in the region,” the prince stated.

William then visited Jalazone refugee camp and its well being clinic and a faculty, administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

An indication banning weapons – an image of a Kalashnikov assault rifle with crimson line by means of it – was on the door of the well being centre, which the prince toured earlier than visiting the varsity and chatting with pupils.

Armed Palestinian safety males stood on rooftops within the camp, reached through an unpaved highway and bordering a big Jewish settlement. More than 9,000 folks reside within the crowded camp of cinderblock and concrete buildings.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shakes palms with Britain’s Prince William throughout their assembly in Ramallah, within the occupied West Bank June 27, 2018. Alaa Badarneh/Pool through Reuters

On Tuesday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin publicly requested the prince to deliver Abbas “a message of peace” and inform him it’s time to discover a strategy to “build confidence” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Rivlin’s place is basically ceremonial and in remarks launched to the media after his personal assembly with William earlier that day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no such request.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014 and the divide between the 2 sides has widened within the years since amid bouts of violence.

The West Bank, the place Palestinians have restricted self-rule, has been largely quiet in latest months, in distinction to surges of combating alongside Israel’s frontier with Gaza, an enclave dominated by Abbas’s fundamental Palestinian rival, the Hamas Islamist group.

Israeli troops have killed at the least 130 Palestinians throughout mass demonstrations alongside the border since March 30.

“The Palestinian side is committed to the peace process with the Israelis, so both states could live peacefully together within the borders of 1967,” Abbas stated in his public remarks at his assembly with William.

Palestinians need East Jerusalem, captured by Israel together with the West Bank and Gaza Strip within the 1967 Middle East battle, because the capital of an impartial state they search to determine within the two territories.

In 2005 Israel pulled troops and settlers out of Gaza, however maintains tight management of the territory’s land and sea borders, citing safety issues. This has deepened hardship in Gaza, whose financial system, worldwide specialists say, is in a state of collapse.

Slideshow (6 Images)

Violence flared in a single day in Gaza.

Until now it had been British coverage to not make an official royal go to to Israel and the occupied territories till the Israeli-Palestinian battle was resolved.

“It’s not a time when he can come and celebrate success in the Middle East peace process or anything of that sort, but it is a time when we can show our interest in the region,” Philip Hall, Britain’s consul-general in Jerusalem, instructed Reuters earlier than William flew to the Middle East.


Before his motorcade crossed into the West Bank, William strolled alongside a stylish Tel Aviv boulevard with Israeli Eurovision music contest winner Netta Barzilai to the delight of cheering onlookers.

But there was no “chicken-dance”, Barzilai’s signature transfer carried out as a part of her ladies’s empowerment hit “I’m Not Your Toy” throughout the 2018 song-fest.

William’s four-day tour, which ends on Thursday with a go to to holy websites, additionally marks the primary time a member of the British royal household has paid an official go to to Israel.

In downtown Tel Aviv, William walked with the purple-braided singer alongside Rothschild Boulevard. The tree-lined avenue on the coronary heart of the town’s monetary districts comprises outlets, eating places and galleries.

William and Barzilai chatted at a kiosk, described as one of many first refreshment stands in Tel Aviv. They have been served “Gazoz”, a retro Israeli gentle drink comprised of flavoured syrup and fizzy water.

The day earlier than he had targeted in his first engagements in Israel on honouring the reminiscence of victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Additional reporting by Ali Sawafta in Ramallah and Dan Williams in Tel Aviv; Writing by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Raissa Kasolowsky

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