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First official trip to Israel in the works

The first ever official trip to Israel by a member of the British Royal Family is reportedly under works.

According to the Mirror, senior sources have said that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is all for a trip to honour the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration was Britain’s support of an establishment of Jewish communities in Palestine. The ultimate result of the Declaration ended up with a Jewish State (now Israel) and a lasting conflict between the Jews and Palestinians.

Many have since asked for Britain’s apology for distributing land when they had no right which could cause this to be a controversial trip.

On Wednesday, Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin met with Johnson and extended the invitation for a Royal Visit.

Past requests have gone unanswered as officials have said a visit could only happen once a peace deal between the Palestinians and the Jewish could be reached. Yet, with Johnson’s eagerness, a Royal visit could be soon underway after the Foreign Visits Committee debates it.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are unlikely candidates for the trip, but a junior member like Princess Anne or Prince Edward could be asked to go.

While no official visit has happened, Prince Edward made a “semi-official” visit in 2007 to Israel to present prizes of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Other visits to the country have included Prince Philip in 1994 for a private visit to see his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg’s grave on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Prince Charles also made visits in 1995 and 2016 for the funerals of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Shimon Peres respectively.

 

 

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Decisions on where members of the Royal Family visit on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government are taken by the Royal Visits Committee and include advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Any invitation will be considered in the normal way.”

Israeli Prince Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been invited to Britain by Prime Minister Theresa May to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

President Rivlin spoke of the occasion during his meeting this week, saying: “This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom. We will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration, and I am greatly honoured to extend an official invitation to the Royal Family to visit Israel to mark this event.”

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