What happened: The Prince of Wales will visit Israel in January 2020 on his first ever official Royal visit. Prince Charles has been to Jerusalem twice to attend the funerals of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin but this will be his first ever official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
- Prince Charles is visiting at the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to attend the World Holocaust Forum at the Holocaust remembrance centre at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on 23 January. Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emanuel Macron and US Vice President Mike Pence are also expected to attend the event that takes place ahead of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
- The Prince’s itinerary will include official engagements in Israel and he will meet with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.
Context: Prince Charles’s visit is the second official royal visit to Israel in two years, after a period of 70 years since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 when no member of the Royal family ever visited Israel, despite being invite and Israeli Presidents visiting the UK on official state visits.
- Prince William visited Israel in June 2018 and went to the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin, attended Jewish-Arab coexistence projects, visted the Tel Aviv beach, met with Eurovision song contest winner Netta Barzilai and went to the West Bank to meet Abbas in Ramallah.
Looking ahead: The UK-Israel relationship has warmed significantly in the past decade, and two official visits in two years, after decades without one, is a clear sign by both countries to strengthen bilateral relations.