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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Prince William West Bank itinerary revealed

The trip is scheduled for June and will also include Jordan and Israel

Britain's Prince William joins military veterans now working for the National Health Service, as he visits Evelina London Children's Hospital in London. Kensington Palace says Prince William will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the end of June 2018, the first British royal to make an official visit there. Daniel Leal Olivas / Pool via AP
Britain's Prince William joins military veterans now working for the National Health Service, as he visits Evelina London Children's Hospital in London. Kensington Palace says Prince William will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the end of June 2018, the first British royal to make an official visit there. Daniel Leal Olivas / Pool via AP

Kensington Palace has announced that Prince William will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at the end of June — the first British royal to make an official visit there.

The trip, which William is carrying out on behalf of the British government, was announced in March and was widely welcomed then by both Israeli and Palestinian officials.

He will begin his June 24-28 trip in Amman, Jordan, then travel to Jerash in Jordan; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel; and Ramallah in the West Bank.

No British royal has ever made an official visit to Israel, whose occupation of the Palestinian territories is considered illegal by the UK.

The trip comes amidst heightened tensions in the region, following the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces and the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

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William's father, Prince Charles, attended the 2016 funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private capacity.

This is also the first official royal visit to the Palestinian territories. It comes at the British government's request.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in March welcomed the visit as "important".

"We look forward to contributing to strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two peoples," a statement from the Palestinian presidency on official news agency WAFA said.

The agency also published comments by the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi that said Prince William would not only be welcomed by the leaders but also ordinary people in the territories.

“On behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Executive Committee and the Palestinian people, we welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge on his scheduled visit to Palestine this summer,” said Ms Ashrawi.

"It is an historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be received here with great enthusiasm," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.