01/03/2018 11:53 GMT

Prince William To Become First Senior Royal To Visit Occupied Palestinian Territories

It's set to be the Duke's most sensitive tour to date.

POOL New / Reuters
Prince William is set to make a historic tour of the Middle East 

Prince William is set to become the first senior member of the British royal family to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories. 

The Duke of Cambridge will visit the area during a historic summer tour of the Middle East, which will also include Israel and Jordan. 

According to Kensington Palace, the visit was scheduled “at the request of
Her Majesty’s Government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities”. 

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin celebrated the news on Twitter, writing: “A very special guest, and a very special present for our 70th year of independence.” 

The tour represents a rare visit to the region by the royals and has been dubbed the most sensitive tour the Duke has ever undertaken. 

While William’s father, the Prince of Wales, visited Israel in 2016 for the state memorial of President Shimon Peres, Charles was also the last member of the royal family to travel to Jordan, making the trip in February 2015. 

The Duke of Gloucester - the Queen’s cousin - visited the St John Eye Clinic in the Palestinian Occupied Territories in 2007. 

Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt called the trip an “important and unique opportunity to promote diplomatic and cultural ties in the region”.

The 35-year-old prince will not be joined by his wife Kate, who is due to give birth to their third child in April.