Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, touches the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Picture: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, touches the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem. Picture: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William visits Jerusalem's Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City with the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock mosque. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William visits Jerusalem's Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City with the golden dome of the Dome of the Rock mosque. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) shakes hands with Britain's Prince William, in the West Bank City of Ramallah. Picture: Alaa Badarneh/Xinhua
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) shakes hands with Britain's Prince William, in the West Bank City of Ramallah. Picture: Alaa Badarneh/Xinhua
Britain's Prince William and Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein look at a photograph showing William's wife, the former Kate Middleton, her father Michael and younger sister Pippa in the ruins of the Roman city of Jerash in the 1980s in Jerash, Jordan. Picture: Raad al-Adayleh/AP
Britain's Prince William and Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein look at a photograph showing William's wife, the former Kate Middleton, her father Michael and younger sister Pippa in the ruins of the Roman city of Jerash in the 1980s in Jerash, Jordan. Picture: Raad al-Adayleh/AP
Prince William stands in Jerusalem's Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William stands in Jerusalem's Mount of Olives overlooking the Old City. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William speaks with surfers during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, to a beach in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William speaks with surfers during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, to a beach in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William visits with a Palestinian student inside a school run by UNRWA in the Al-Jalzoun refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Picture: Fadi Arouri/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William visits with a Palestinian student inside a school run by UNRWA in the Al-Jalzoun refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Picture: Fadi Arouri/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William greets the crowd during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, to a beach in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William greets the crowd during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, to a beach in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William kicks the ball as he meets with Jewish and Arab children at the Neve Golan Stadium in Jaffa, Israel. Picture: Heidi Levine/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William kicks the ball as he meets with Jewish and Arab children at the Neve Golan Stadium in Jaffa, Israel. Picture: Heidi Levine/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William high-fives a beach volleyball player during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Prince William high-fives a beach volleyball player during a visit with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, in the coastal Mediterranean city. Picture: Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William, left, lays a wreath during a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Picture: Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William, left, lays a wreath during a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Picture: Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William visits the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Picture: Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William visits the Hall of Names at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Picture: Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara in Jerusalem. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP
Britain's Prince William meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara in Jerusalem. Picture: Thomas Coex/Pool Photo via AP

Jerusalem - Britain's Prince William on Thursday visited Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound and Judaism's Western Wall at the foot of the hilltop holy site at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

William is on the final day of his tour of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the first official visit there by a senior member of the British royal family.

The prince shook hands with clerics and then entered Islam's Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque. They are on a site revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount, where Biblical temples once stood.

Minutes later and accompanied by rabbis, William walked up to the Western Wall through a passage formed across the plaza by police barricades that held back a crowd of onlookers.

Wearing a skullcap and following a Jewish tradition of offering a written prayer at the wall, he placed a note between its stones, rested the palm of one hand against them and leaned forward in silent reflection.

The Western Wall, the last remaining remnant of a retaining wall that surrounded a Biblical temple, and the Noble Sanctuary are in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, an area captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that has not won international recognition.

The future of the city is one of the thorniest issues in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and over the years the compound above the Western Wall has been the scene of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

GREAT-GRANDMOTHER

Before visiting the site, William, second in line to the British throne, made a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, who was honoured by Israel for sheltering Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece during the Holocaust.

Princess Alice of Battenberg and Greece, who was Queen Elizabeth's mother-in-law, is buried in a crypt in the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem's Old City.

A devout Christian, she died in London in 1969 and had asked to be buried in Jerusalem, next to her aunt, who like Alice had become a nun and founded a convent.

In 1993, the princess was named as one of the "righteous among the nations", the highest honour Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial bestows on non-Jews, for hiding three members of the Cohen family in her palace in Athens during World War Two.

Both William's father, Prince Charles, and grandfather, Prince Philip, who is Alice's son, have visited her grave site near the Garden of Gethsemane, in an area Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

William met ancestors of the Cohen family at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence on Tuesday after visiting the memorial to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

The prince visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Wednesday, meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and touring a refugee camp, on a day which also took him to the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv.

In a speech in Jerusalem on Wednesday, he assured Palestinians "you have not been forgotten".

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014 and the divide between the two sides has widened in the years since amid bouts of violence.