Prince William will become the first British royal to make an official visit to Israel and Palestine, an unexpected move given that political sensitivities in the region have stalled a formal trip for decades.
Kensington Palace said in a tweet that the Duke of Cambridge would visit later this year as part of a Middle East tour.
The high-profile visit was “at the request of Her Majesty’s government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities,” it added.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, lauded the announcement of the visit, which he said would be the first of its kind. The country’s president, Reuven Rivlin, tweeted:
The office of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said it “welcomes this important visit, which we hope will contribute to strengthening ties of friendship between the two peoples”. Israeli media have reported several invitations offered by Israeli officials to British royals but none, until now, have been accepted. The British government, which approves royal trips, condemns Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.