GettyPrince William Why Kate Middleton won't join her husband on the Middle East royal tour
27 June, 2018, 23:14
Prince William has begun a five-day tour of the Middle East, including the first official royal visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
On Sunday Prince William spent time with Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II in Amman, with whom he watched England's World Cup match against Panama.
They will visit Fablab in Amman, an initiative set up under the Crown Prince Foundation that gives young people the training and technology they need to pursue business projects.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah he is also scheduled to meet Palestinian refugees and youths.
The two United States officials, who are orthodox Jews, returned to Israel on Friday and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during which they discussed "the means by which the humanitarian situation in Gaza can be alleviated, while maintaining Israel's security", according to a statement they made.
The Palestinians are boycotting the American administration since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge speaks during the official handover to the nation of the newly built Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) at the Stanford Hall Estate on June 21, 2018 in Leeds, England.
"It is the right moment we think for a visit to really shine a light on that relationship and show how strong the contemporary relationship is between the two countries", Ambassador David Quarrey told The Associated Press.
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Though billed as non-political, the visit is a high-profile one for the 36-year-old heir to the British throne.
Other members of William's family - including his father Prince Charles - have made unofficial visits to Israel and east Jerusalem in the past. Israel considers the city, home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims and the emotional epicenter of the conflict, as an inseparable part of its capital.
"My wife Catherine is very sorry she can not be here with me so soon after the birth of our son Louis, but her family remembers very fondly the nearly three years she spent here as a child when her father worked for British Airways in Amman", William told the guests.
His visit comes as Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its establishment, and amidst escalating tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they hope will also include the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
William is visiting a region where three decades of British rule between the two world wars helped establish some of the fault lines of today's Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
William is slated to arrive early on Monday evening, and be greeted at the airport by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin.
The Palace shared photos of William sitting beside 23-year-old Crown Prince Al-Hussein in a huge room within the king's palace, complete with giant flat screen TV and a baseball glove armchair.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, who guided the Duke of Cambridge through the museum's exhibitions detailing Nazi Germany's genocide of 6 million Jews during World War II, said the prince was visibly moved as he stopped to inquire about various elements of the Holocaust.
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