Following the Kensington Palace’s announcement that Prince William will become the first member of the British royal family to visit Israel, several pro-Palestinian groups in the UK have called on him to go beyond royal diplomacy and address the burning issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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Pro-Palestinian groups in the UK are calling on Prince William to take a clear stand against Israel during his recently-announced visit to the region in the summer.
Allan Hogarth, the head of policy and government affairs at Amnesty International UK, has urged Prince William to visit “some of the Palestinian communities affected by Israel’s 50-year occupation” as well as “families like Ahed Tamimi’s, who can tell him what it’s like to have children detained by the Israeli authorities for minor offences or simply for protesting against the occupation.” Tamimi has been in detention since December after she was filmed assaulting an IDF officer in her village of Nabi Saleh.
“Amnesty is currently campaigning for all countries around the world – including the UK – to ban the import and sale of all goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements,” Hogarth added. “We’d hope Prince William could see the moral strength of this position and support our campaign.”
Another Palestinian source, who spoke to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, said Prince Williams’ visit is a chance for him to visit areas “annexed by Israel in East Jerusalem” and see “illegally-built settlements.”
Prince Williams will become the first-ever member of the British royal family to make a formal diplomatic visit to Israel. Some of his relatives have made private visits over the years. Prince Charles, Williams’ father, attended the funeral of Israel’s former president Shimon Peres in 2016.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement. “This is an historic visit, the first of its kind, and he will be welcomed here with great affection,” Netanyahu tweeted. “I have instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to coordinate preparations for the visit to ensure its success.”
Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin tweeted a similar statement. “A very special guest, and a very special present for our 70th year of independence,” he added.