The Duke of Cambridge will visit Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Summer. pic.twitter.com/VSdx7ts1Ff— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 1, 2018
President Reuven Rivlin also took to Twitter following Kensington Palace's announcement, calling the Prince "a very special guest," and the occasion "a very special present for our 70th year of independence."
Israel's Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev extended a gracious welcome to the royal heir along with a video
Nechama & I were happy to hear @KensingtonRoyal announcement, and look forward to welcoming #PrinceWilliam, the Duke of Cambridge, on an official visit to the State of #Israel later this year. A very special guest, and a very special present for our 70th year of independence.— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) March 1, 2018
Members of the British royal family have historically rejected official state visits to Israel, though several have made it to the Holy Land on personal visits. Prince Charles of Wales, for example, attended the 2016 funeral of late president Shimon Peres. William, who is second in line to the British throne, will indeed be making history by stepping foot in Israel in an official capacity.When William's brother Harry got engaged to Meghan Markle in November 2017, Rivlin tweeted a royal "Mazel Tov" to the couple, inviting them to honeymoon in Israel. In March 2017, The Independent reported that "the first state visit by a British Royal to Israel will go ahead this year," after President Rivlin extended the invitation during a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. It did not specify who the Royal would be, but speculated that it might be Prince Charles.Had such a visit come to pass, it would have coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the historical document in which Britain declared its commitment to support the establishment of a Jewish state in the Holy Land and which is often viewed as a catalyst for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.