>> It's suppose to be a non-political visit by ceremonial royal. But Prince William's trip to Israel is loaded with symbolism for both Israelis and Palestinians. This is the first official UK royal visit to Israel since British Forces withdrew from the Holy Land 70 years ago, leaving behind the divisions that remain to this day.
His first stop was Jordan and he's meeting both Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters' Jeffrey Heller.>> The timing of the visit is significant, it coincides with Israel's 70th anniversary year and heightened tensions with the Palestinians, including surges of violence along the Gaza border.
There's no expectation among Israel and Palestinians that the visit will be anything more than a good will tour at a time of continued stalemate in US-led peace efforts. Palestinians are still fuming over President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and as relocation of the American embassy to the city.
>> Britain ruled Palestine for three decades, older people remember British soldiers on the streets. Even the hote, the Prince is staying in is loaded with history. The King David hotel was the British HQ where Jewish militants killed more than 90 people in a 1946 bombing. The Palestinians meanwhile accused Britain assigning away their land by endorsing a home for the Jews in Palestine.
>> William will have to tread carefully to avoid the Israeli-Palestinian political minefield as he visits holy sites and contested Jerusalem. The senior lawmaker from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party has already complained about Kensington Palace's listing and the Prince's itinerary of the Old City of Jerusalem's occupied Palestinian territory.
Israel regards all of Jerusalem including the Old City as its internal and indivisible capital. Along with most other countries, Britain rejects that claim.>> And all that means Prince William's historic tour will likely struggle to bypass the region's current tensions.