(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Prince William has arrived in Israel, marking the first time a Royal has made an official visit to the country and the Palestinian territories.
The Duke of Cambridge touched down in Tel Aviv on Monday evening after two days in Jordan, where he toured the Roman ruins of Jerash, met Syrian refugees and sat down with 23-year-old Crown Prince Hussain to watch England’s 6-1 World Cup win over Panama.
But the focus now turns to his solo journey to Israel and Palestine.
It is one fraught with political overtones despite Kensington Palace reinforcing the “non-political nature of His Royal Highnesses’ work”.
During the tour he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and in times where a mere tweet can cause ripples around the globe, words have to be chosen wisely.
A taste of that came just last week, when several Israeli MPs voiced their outrage after the Royal itinerary mentioned that the Duke’s visit to the Old City in Jerusalem was in the “the occupied Palestinian Territories”.
The Old City is part of East Jerusalem, and much of the international community does not recognise Israel’s annexation of the area.
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin said the reference was a “distortion” that “cannot change reality”.