Saudi citizen arrested after non-Muslim journalist sneaks into Mecca

Gil Tamary of Israel’s Channel 13 sparked online fury after he filmed himself in Islam’s holiest city despite a ban on non-Muslims

A Saudi citizen who allegedly helped a non-Muslim enter the holy city of Mecca has been arrested, police in the kingdom said, after an online backlash against a journalist working for Israeli television.

The journalist, Gil Tamary of Israel’s Channel 13, posted on Twitter a video of himself sneaking into Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, in defiance of a 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 police spokesperson said in comments reported by the official Saudi Press Agency on Friday.

SPA did not name the journalist but said he was an American citizen, whose case has also been referred to prosecutors “to take the necessary procedures against him in accordance with the applied laws”.

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Despite growing behind-the-scenes business and security contacts, Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel and did not join the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords that saw the Jewish state establish ties with two of the kingdom’s neighbours, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.


One thought on “Saudi citizen arrested after non-Muslim journalist sneaks into Mecca

  1. I used-ta would-a thought ill of the Saudis for this. I STILL think ill of the Saudis all-too-often. But on THIS one, I’m on their side. It seems to have been a disrespectful prank.

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