Prince William arrives in Jordan for historic Middle East tour

Posted June 25, 2018

Amru, who is a senior official with the West Bank-based ruling Fatah faction, said the PA leadership could have rejected what was leaked about Trump's peace plan without cutting its ties with the USA administration.

Britain's Prince William on Sunday kicked off a politically delicate five-day tour of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, preparing to meet with young people, refugees and national leaders in a tumultuous region that Britain had controlled between the two world wars.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, said that he is "ready to work" with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he visits the region as part of an effort to broker a peace deal, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

In addition to East Jerusalem, the Palestinians seek full sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza. Mr Trump said the move took the issue of Jerusalem off the negotiating table. Hussein, Abdullah and Crown Prince Hussein all attended Sandhurst, the British military academy, as did William.

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin condemned the royal itinerary characterization of east Jerusalem as "occupied", calling the reference a "distortion" that can not "change reality".

Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina meanwhile said on Saturday that United States efforts, which "ignored" Palestinian positions on issues such as Jerusalem, statehood and refugees, were doomed to fail. "I don't want to speak about specifics of the deal we are working on", Kushner said.

He will hold talks with both Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said she welcomes William's visit to the West Bank as a chance to see Palestinian reality under Israeli occupation first hand. "Basically the aim is to reach out for greater understanding and more human, cultural and historic ties".

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But no immediate member of the royal family has made an official visit to Israel since its establishment in 1948, nor to the Palestinian territories.

Kensington Palace, the official residence of the Duke of Cambridge, said that the visit was aimed at introducing William to "as many people from as many walks of life as possible - and use the spotlight that his visit will bring to celebrate their hopes for the future".

William is also scheduled to visit Yad Vashem and the grave of his great-grandmother Princess Alice in Jerusalem. It also accused him of engaging in "deception" against worldwide law and "promoting normalization" between Arabs and Israel.

Though the visit has been billed as "non-political", the official itinerary for William's visit to Jerusalem holy sites stirred political controversy by listing the Old City as being located in the "Occupied Palestinian Territories".

In December, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh claimed that the plan would involve making the tiny Arab village of Abu Dis in the West Bank the capital of the future Palestinian State instead of East Jerusalem. With the American embassy move, it hopes global opposition to the annexation is starting to crumble.

"We very much like the prince but he shouldn't slip on politics and it's a shame that with these things he will cause residents of Jerusalem not to appreciate him", he said.

Mr Kalmanovich, from the hard right Jewish Home party, said he was "very surprised that a personage from the royal family comes and can't find the time to meet with representatives of the municipality".

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