‘Too many have already been killed,’ Prince William says of Gaza


Prince William, the Prince of Wales, issued a rare political statement on Tuesday about the conflict between Israel and Hamas and called for “an end to the fighting as soon as possible”.

“I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible. There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It is critical that help comes in and the hostages are released,” the prince’s statement said.

“Sometimes it is only when faced with the great extent of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home.

“Even in the darkest hour we must not succumb to despair. I continue to hold on to the hope that a better future can be found and I refuse to give up on that.”

His comments follow after the British heir to the throne paid a visit to the British Red Cross in London to learn more about their humanitarian efforts in the Middle East.

He also participated in a live video link conversation with Red Cross staff, who briefed him first-hand on their work in Gaza.

The prince is expected to meet further this month with other organizations that provide humanitarian support in Gaza and separately participate in a synagogue discussion with young people from different communities about antisemitism.

It is highly unusual for the royal family to comment on international conflicts.

Although Prince William’s father, King Charles III, is the head of state of the United Kingdom as well as 14 other Commonwealth countries, from Canada to Australia and Jamaica, his functions are purely ceremonial.

However, building bridges between religions is a matter close to the heart of the king, who shared his cancer diagnosis with the world earlier this month.

In his first Christmas message as a crowned British monarch, he spoke of “the underlying universal values” shared by different religions at a time of “tragic conflict”.

His coronation ceremony in May last year also made history as the first British one to include leaders of faiths other than the Church of England.

Additional resources: BBC, AFP, Forbes.