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Ashrawi welcomes Prince William as first British royal to visit Palestine since 1948

March 2, 2018 2:26 P.M. (Updated: March 6, 2018 11:40 A.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian officials welcomed the announcement that Britain’s Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, will visit the occupied Palestinian territory in the summer, in what will be the first state visit by a British royal to the region since 1948.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi released a statement saying “on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee and the Palestinian people, we welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge on his scheduled visit to Palestine this summer.”

“Prince William, who accepted an invitation from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, will be a welcome guest, not just of the leadership but of the Palestinian people who will provide him with the opportunity to share their stories first-hand and connect on a human level,” the statement said.

Ashrawi added that the trip “will also serve to enhance diplomatic and cultural relations between Prince William and the people of Palestine.”

Israeli media meanwhile reported that Prince William’s trip -- during which he will also visit Israel and Jordan -- “won’t be political,” quoting the British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey.

Israeli news website Ynet reported that Quarrey said "it wouldn't be a political visit. It would be a visit about the strength of the contemporary partnership and relationship between the UK and Israel. It won't be a visit about the peace process or issues like that."

Meanwhile, Alan Hogarth, Amnesty International UK’s head of policy and government affairs, urged Prince William to visit “some of the Palestinian communities affected by Israel’s 50-year occupation, including people in Hebron who’ve been torn from their families and livelihoods by the notorious Shuhada Street closure.”

Hogarth recommended Prince William visit the family of Ahed Tamimi “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."
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