News World UK's Prince Charles urges Middle East peace, visits grandmother's tomb

UK’s Prince Charles urges Middle East peace, visits grandmother’s tomb

The heir to the British throne expressed sadness on Friday over the suffering and hardship faced by Palestinians and called for “a just and lasting peace” in the Middle East on the third day of his visit to the Holy Land.

Prince Charles met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, prayed with Christian clergy and visited the grave of his grandmother, who is buried on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives and is honoured by Israel for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

“It breaks my heart… that we should continue to see so much suffering and division. No one arriving in Bethlehem today could miss the signs of continued hardship and the situation you face,” Charles, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth, said on his first official visit to the occupied Palestinian Territories.

“…I can only join you, and all communities, in your prayers for a just and lasting peace… It is my dearest wish that the future will bring freedom, justice and equality to all Palestinians, enabling you to thrive and to prosper.”

His five-mile (eight-km) journey to Bethlehem involved traversing an Israeli military checkpoint to reach the other side of a concrete wall that Israel built through West Bank territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

BUILDING BRIDGES

Charles, 71, said it would be “the greatest tragedy” if the ancient Palestinian Christian communities were to disappear from the Holy Land, an apparent reference to the departure of many Arab Christians from the Middle East.

Britain’s royal family steers clear of politics, though Charles, who will become governor of the Church of England when he ascends the throne, has long spoken out on issues such as inter-faith dialogue and the environment.

“I have endeavoured to build bridges between different religions, so that we might learn from each other and be stronger together as a result,” he said on Friday after visiting in Bethlehem the Mosque of Omar and the Church of the Nativity, where according to tradition Jesus Christ was born.

Earlier, Charles bowed his head in remembrance before the tomb of his grandmother, Princess Alice, a devout Christian who sheltered a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Greece.

On Thursday Charles spoke of the inspiration he drew from his grandmother during a Holocaust memorial ceremony attended by dozens of world leaders to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.

Charles, Prince of Wales, stood in prayer with local clergymen around his grandmother’s crypt inside the golden-domed, Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene, where a female choir chanted motets from a vantage above the Old City.

In 1993, Princess Alice of Battenberg received the highest honour Yad Vashem bestows on non-Jews – Righteous Among the Nations – for hiding three members of the Cohen family in her palace in Athens during World War Two.

She died in London in 1969 and had asked to be buried in Jerusalem, next to her aunt.

They are both laid to rest on the Mount of Olives, a biblical hilltop holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. At its foot is the Garden of Gethsemane, revered by Christians as the place where Jesus Christ prayed before he was crucified. (Reuters)

Top Stories

Yellow warning about thunderstorms as of tonight

The meteorological service issued yellow warning about isolated thunderstorms. The warning is valid as of 20:00 on Friday evening until 16:00 on Saturday. According to the...

EU needs to take decisions that will lead to real de-escalation by Turkey

The delayed moves which Turkey made some days ago to purportedly achieve de-escalation are not convincing, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday, noting...

Clarifications about COVID-19 cases in Central Prisons.

In reply to reports about confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the staff and the inmates of the Central Prisons, the Department of Prisons issued...

Expert concerned about percentage of positive COVID-19 cases

The percentage of positive Covid-19 cases out of thousands of tests carried out in Cyprus on a daily basis is a source of concern...

Cyprus Shipping Chamber joins forces with global business network MACN

The Cyprus Shipping Chamber and the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN), signed recently a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC),  with the aim to collaborate on the...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...