Prince Charles and Mahmoud Abbas
Prince Charles and Mahmoud AbbasReuters

Prince Charles on Friday expressed sadness over the suffering and hardship faced by Palestinian Arabs and called for "a just and lasting peace" in the Middle East, Reuters reported.

Prince Charles, who participated in the World Holocaust Forum on Thursday, met Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Friday, prayed with Christian clergy and visited the grave of his grandmother, who is buried on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives and is honored 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, according to Reuters.

"...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," he added.

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.

The PA’s official WAFA news agency reported that Abbas extended his thanks to the United Kingdom for its assistance to the Palestinian people in building state institutions, as well as its assistance to the UNRWA, and for accepting the two-state solution and rejecting the US-led "Deal of the Century".

“Our hope in the near future is that Britain recognizes the State of Palestine, because we’ve heard that the British Parliament recommended this to the government. So we hope that this will happen,” said Abbas.

The PA chairman this past week met with several of the world leaders who came to Israel to attend the World Holocaust Forum. On Wednesday, he met French President Emmanuel Macron in Ramallah and similarly expressed hope that France will recognize a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Arab officials have been pressuring countries to officially recognize “Palestine”, in a move meant to bypass direct peace talks with Israel.

While several European countries have recognized “Palestine” in recent years, those moves were symbolic ones that have little, if any, actual diplomatic effect.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)