Prince William Begins Controversial Visit to Israel, Palestinian Territories

Britain’s Prince William arrived in Israel on Monday, the first member of the royal family to make an official visit to both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

The prince’s plane landed from Jordan at Ben Gurion Airport around 6:00 pm local time.

Rights groups have criticized the visit, saying Israeli leaders will use it to mask human rights violations against Palestinians.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign said in a press release:

Since Palestinians began staging mass rallies near the Gaza-Israeli fence on March 30, over 130 protesters have been killed and thousands more injured by gunfire from Israeli troops and snipers.

No Israelis have been killed since the demonstrations began.

Prince William’s itinerary includes laying a wreath at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem on Tuesday, before meeting separately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

The following day he is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, before meeting Palestinian refugees and young people.

Prince William is scheduled to complete his stay by visiting historical and religious sites in Jerusalem on Thursday.

The contentious trip attracted significant attention earlier this month after Kensington Palace released Prince William’s itinerary. Its reference to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, though in line with UN resolutions, is an uncommon language for Western officials to employ.

At the time Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin slammed the prince for the word choice.

Source: Palestine Chronicle