In the wake of the announcement that Britain’s Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is going to visit the occupied West Bank, Israel and Jordan this summer, residents of the Gaza Strip, which is part of the occupied Palestinian territories, have expressed scepticism about his visit and asked whether he is planning to apologise to them or not.
Prince William will be the first member of the British royal family to make an official visit to the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel since the withdrawal of the last British soldier from Palestine in 1948. His trip is due to take place this summer, according to an official announcement on Twitter by Kensington Palace.
Confirming that the trip is an official visit, the palace said that it is being made at the “request of Her Majesty’s Government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.” The Prince is expected to meet with politicians and charities during his visit.
The timing of the trip is significant, coming as it will on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel in Palestine, and the ethnic cleansing of around 750,000 Palestinians by Zionist militias and terrorist gangs.
The Gaza Strip has been under a strict Israeli siege for more than a decade; the Palestinians living there are asking why Prince William is not going to visit them.
Mahmoud Sarsour, 35, bankrupt businessman
“The Palestinians in general are generous and feel happy when they can receive guests in their homes. However, Prince William did not put it in his mind to visit us in the Gaza Strip, so we are not that interested in inviting him.”
When he was told that Prince William is visiting Palestinian charities and is offering assistance to Palestinians in need, Sarsour said: “We do not need humanitarian assistance. All we need is to end the Israeli siege on Gaza. If he is to do something for us, he could use his visit — which is being hailed by Israeli officials — to ask for an end to the siege.”
Sarsour blamed the Prince and the rest of the royal family for Britain’s role in creating Israel and offering arms to the Zionist gangs whose terrorism helped the state to come into existence.
Niveen Malik, 26, unemployed university graduate
“In fact, I do not care about the visit of Prince William to the region as I feel he does not have the power to make any change regarding the life and reality of the Palestinians.
“Anyway, if he is coming to help the Palestinians and their cause, he is welcome to visit the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Even if he does not plan to visit Gaza, we would like to invite him.
“I do not mean that we want humanitarian help, but political help. We want him to put pressure on the Israeli occupation in order to lift its strict siege on the Gaza Strip.”
Jameel Salama, 52, PhD in law
“For a start, Britain, which is his country, is responsible for the misery of the Palestinians. It bears the political and ethical responsibility for enabling the Zionist gangs to occupy Palestine. This is a historical fact. The British army trained and equipped the Zionists during the British Mandate period.
“The British royal family is responsible for the Balfour Declaration, through which the government of the British Crown pledged to create a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine, my homeland.
“Prince William’s visit to the occupied territories is an opportunity to at least apologise for the Palestinians about the British sin. This is the least thing that the British are people are requested to do. If Prince William is ready to do so, I would like to invite him to visit Gaza.
“If he does not want to do so, I would even call for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian officials not to receive him in the occupied West Bank.”
Ali Al-Ghorra, 40, businessman
“We, the Palestinians in general, blame the British people, mainly the royal family, for the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I say the royal family because it is the same family which was ruling the UK when Balfour pledged to create a homeland for Jews and when the UK facilitated the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist gangs during the British Mandate period.
“Unlike others, we do not blame today’s British people for the sins committed by their fathers and grandfathers. People come and go, but the royal family is still the same.
“We want, at least, Prince William and the British royal family behind him, to help us get rid of the consequences of the mistake committed by them.
“The Germans apologised to the Jews about the Holocaust and have been paying compensation to Israel to this day. Why does the British government not take the same step? Are the Germans better than them or are the Zionists better than the Palestinians? If there is justice in the world, what I am saying must happen.”
Nimer Al-Shansheer, 53, unemployed worker
“What will Prince William do if he comes to Gaza? He is unable to do anything because he does not have any political power.
“I believe that his visit is planned mainly to support Israel and congratulate it on the 70th anniversary of the creation of the occupation state. Regarding a visit to the Gaza Strip, maybe he was asked by Israel not to come here.
“The British killed my uncle, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood before leaving Palestine in 1948. The British soldiers killed my uncle because he fought against handing over Palestine to the Zionists. Will Prince William apologise to me about killing my uncle in the name of the Crown?”
When he was told that Prince William is planning to help Palestinian charities, Al-Shansheer said: “The only thing we need is to help us return to our occupied land of Palestine. If he is able to do this, he is more than welcome in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”