Prince William visits Jerusalem holy websites, great-grandmother’s tomb

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William on Thursday visited Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque compound and Judaism’s Western Wall on the foot of the hilltop holy web site on the coronary heart of the Israeli-Palestinian battle.

Britain’s Prince William touches the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer web site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 28, 2018. Abir Sultan/Pool by way of Reuters

William is on the ultimate day of his tour of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the primary official go to there by a senior member of the British royal household.

The prince shook palms with clerics after which entered Islam’s Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque. They are on a web site revered by Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews because the Temple Mount, the place Biblical temples as soon as stood.

Minutes later and accompanied by rabbis, William walked as much as the Western Wall by means of a passage fashioned throughout the plaza by police barricades that held again a crowd of onlookers.

Wearing a skullcap and following a Jewish custom of providing a written prayer on the wall, he positioned a notice between its stones, rested the palm of 1 hand towards them and leaned ahead in silent reflection.

Britain’s Prince William touches the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer web site, in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 28, 2018. Abir Sultan/Pool by way of Reuters

The Western Wall, the final remaining remnant of a retaining wall that surrounded a Biblical temple, and the Noble Sanctuary are within the walled Old City of Jerusalem, an space captured by Israel within the 1967 Middle East conflict and annexed in a transfer that has not received worldwide recognition.

The way forward for town is likely one of the thorniest points within the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian battle, and over time the compound above the Western Wall has been the scene of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli safety forces.


Before visiting the location, William, second in line to the British throne, made a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, who was honoured by Israel for sheltering Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece in the course of the Holocaust.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Greece, who was Queen Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, is buried in a crypt within the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives exterior Jerusalem’s Old City.

A religious Christian, she died in London in 1969 and had requested to be buried in Jerusalem, subsequent to her aunt, who like Alice had change into a nun and based a convent.

Slideshow (10 Images)

In 1993, the princess was named as one of many “righteous among the nations”, the best honour Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial bestows on non-Jews, for hiding three members of the Cohen household in her palace in Athens throughout World War Two.

Both William’s father, Prince Charles, and grandfather, Prince Philip, who is Alice’s son, have visited her grave web site close to the Garden of Gethsemane, in an space Israel captured within the 1967 Middle East conflict.

William met ancestors of the Cohen household at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on Tuesday after visiting the memorial to the six million Jews killed within the Holocaust.

The prince visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, assembly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and touring a refugee camp, on a day which additionally took him to the Israeli coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv.

In a speech in Jerusalem on Wednesday, he assured Palestinians “you have not been forgotten”.

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.

Additional reporting by Dan Williams, Stephen Farrell and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Gareth Jones

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