Israeli leader asks Prince William to take ‘message of peace’ to Palestinians

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Sky News

Israel’s president has called on Prince William to take with him “a message of peace” when he meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Duke of Cambridge is currently on a five-day tour of Israel and spoke with Reuven Rivlin at his official residence.

Mr Rivlin said: “I know you are going to meet President Abbas.

“I would like you to send him a message of peace and tell him it is about time, it is about time that we have to find together the way to build confidence.

“Build confidence as a first step to bring to understanding that we have to bring to an end the tragedy between us that goes along for more than 120 years.”

William arrived on Monday night in the first ever official visit by a member of the Royal Family to the country.

The Duke of Cambridge visited Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial where he met two survivors who escaped Nazi Germany and fled to Britain.

William, wearing a black skullcap, rekindled the eternal flame and laid a wreath as a youth choir sang.

The memorial has recognised Prince William’s great-grandmother, Princess Alice, as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for her role in rescuing Jews during the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem said Princess Alice “hid the three members of the Cohen family – Rachel, Tilda and Michelle – in her palace in Athens during the Nazi occupation of Greece”.

It said: “Princess Alice personally saw to it that the members of the persecuted Jewish family had everything they needed, and even visited them in their hiding place, spending many hours in their company.”

Thanks to her, the Cohen family survived and today lives in France, it said.

The princess died in 1969 and in 1988 her remains were brought to Jerusalem.

The prince wrote an entry in the guest book of the Yad Vashem, saying: “It has been a profoundly moving experience to visit Yad Vashem today.

“It is almost impossible to comprehend this appalling event in history.

“Every name, photograph and memory recorded here is a tragic reminder of the unimaginable human cost of the Holocaust and the immense loss suffered by the Jewish people.”

Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev guided Prince William through the memorial’s exhibitions, which detail the death of six million Jews killed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during the Second World War.

After the visit, Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara hosted the prince at the prime minister’s residence.