Saudi police arrest man who helped Israeli sneak into Mecca | Religion News

Mecca regional police have arrested an unnamed Saudi citizen who helped sneak an Israeli reporter into Mecca.

A Saudi man believed to have helped an Israeli Jewish journalist enter Mecca has been arrested, the kingdom’s police said, following a backlash on social media.

The journalist, Gil Tamary of Israel’s Channel 13, posted on Twitter a video of himself on Monday sneak into MeccaIslam’s holiest city, despite the ban on non-Muslims.

Mecca regional police have “referred a citizen” to prosecutors for alleged complicity in “transferring and facilitating the entry of a (non-Muslim) journalist”, a spokesman said. of the police said in comments officially reported by the Saudi Press Agency late on Friday.

The SPA did not name Tamary but said he was an American citizen, implying that he entered the country with his American passport because the kingdom has no official relations with Israel.

His case has also been referred to prosecutors “to carry out the necessary proceedings against him under applicable law”, even though the Israeli citizen is no longer in the kingdom.

Although Muslims of any nationality and background can enter Mecca, non-Muslims are not allowed as everyone within its boundaries is required to have a code of conduct and conduct. very specific, including some form of humility, ritual cleansing, and prayer.

In her roughly 10-minute clip, Tamary visits Mount Arafat, where robed Muslim pilgrims gather to pray during the climax of each year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

He made it clear he knew what he was doing was against the law but said he wanted to introduce “a very important place for our Muslim brothers and sisters”.

Tamary left the mountain after he said that religious police began asking him questions to make sure he was a Muslim.

Public backlash over Tamary’s visit was immediate on social media, with Muslims and Saudis expressing anger at his deception and apparent disdain. respectability of the site.

Translation: If he is a Muslim, he is welcome regardless of his nationality. But if he is not a Muslim, I hope that he will be investigated and with those who cooperate with him and know how he got into the Holy Land. What God has forbidden in the Quran cannot be tolerated and ignored.

The Saudi media adamantly ignores what we know. I know he’s an Israeli journalist with an American passport, and you all know it, and [Saudi] The government knew it too and specifically allowed him to work as a reporter for an Israeli media company. The journalist himself in the video boasted that he was the first Israeli to enter Mecca.

The incident comes as relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel are quietly evolving amid shared concerns about Iran. Publicly, the kingdom affirms its policy that full relations are possible only when the rights and state of the Palestinians are guaranteed.

The reporter and Channel 13 responded on Twitter after the report aired. The news channel, in both Hebrew and Arabic, said Tamary’s reporting was motivated by “journalism” and a desire to witness and witness the incident first-hand. .

Police urge visitors to respect Saudi laws, especially when visiting Mecca and Islam’s holiest sites in the kingdom.

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