The British Prince will arrive in Israel on June 25, as part of a three day visit to the Middle East which also includes Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Elkin was especially enraged by Kensington Palace’s official statement which said “The program in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will begin with a short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem's Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives.”
“It’s regrettable that Britain chose to politicize the Royal visit. Unified Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel for over 3,000 years and no twisted wording of the official press release will change the reality. I’m expecting the prince’s staff to fix this distortion,” Elkin said.
Prince William’s intentions to include the tour of the Western Wall and other sites holy to the region’s three religions as part the visit to Palestinian Territories and not Israel, were announced last week.
“It will allow His Royal Highness to understand and pay respect to the religions and history of the region,” said the official statement.
While the palace has yet to announce which sites the prince will visit on the last day, Ynet has learned he plans to visit the Temple Mount, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of Saint John the Baptist and the Western Wall.
As the tours of these sites have been scheduled in advance, it’s unclear why Kensington Palace has failed to include them on the official itinerary.
According to sources in Jerusalem, the palace intentionally avoided mentioning these sites in a bid to prevent a politicization of the visit.
William’s visit to the holy sites was scheduled a long time ago,” says a knowledgeable source. “William is expected to become the king of the United Kingdom one day, and he will also serve as supreme governor of the Church of England as part of his position. So, clearly, these sites were included in the visit’s itinerary to begin with. Why isn’t the palace announcing them yet? They’re likely trying to avoid a political war over the issue of control of the holy sites.
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which planned the visit’s itinerary, is afraid to include the Western Wall in Palestinian Authority leg of the visit, so they are postponing this problematic obstacle and trying to find a solution that will satisfy everyone.”