Boris Johnson got hands-on with fish during the Jerusalem leg of his Middle East tour – as Israeli security forces reported more terror attacks in the city.
Police patrolled the entrance to the Mahane Yehuda market as the London mayor ate cheese, drank wine and got to grips with a couple of slippery fish – one of which he dropped on his suit – when touring the shops.
His knockabout routine with stallholders contrasted starkly with events elsewhere in Jerusalem as reports suggested an Israeli security guard was stabbed at a Jerusalem light rail station, while shots were fired in two separate attempted stabbings.
Saw this fella in Machne Yehuda market, now preping for lunch at Machne Yehuda sister to London’s Palomar restaurant pic.twitter.com/jmX1aLmsbU
— Boris Johnson (@MayorofLondon) November 10, 2015
Two Palestinian boys, believed to be aged 12 and 13, were involved in the security guard stabbing in east Jerusalem, the Associated Press reported, adding that a 37-year-old Palestinian man was killed by forces outside the Old City after he allegedly chased guards while wielding a knife.
Mr Johnson is expected to visit religious sites in the Old City on Wednesday before heading to the Palestinian city of Ramallah on the final day of his trade mission.
There was little sign of unease in the mayor’s travelling party as Mr Johnson wandered the Jerusalem market and found himself presented with a giant fish.
He noted: “It looks like it’s eaten something huge, too. It could literally feed 5,000 people.”
Mr Johnson was joined by Assaf Granit, executive chef of the Palomar Restaurant in London, and later tried his hand at cooking.
He later got back on his bike as he trialled road safety technology, which a UK company confirmed on Tuesday it will install on 200 of its bin lorries.
Mr Johnson met the developers from Mobileye, who are behind the “cycle safety shield” system which uses cameras and sensors to alert drivers to cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.
The mayor’s office said UK firm Amey is using the technology after a six-month pilot in Ealing in 2014 suggested 15 “potentially serious” collisions were avoided as a result of the technology.
Mr Johnson cycled in front of a van to demonstrate how the technology works, joking after the successful test ride: “I think a lot of people would have paid you to put the pedal to the metal.”
His first day in Jerusalem began in sombre circumstances with a tour of Israel’s official memorial to the Holocaust victims.
The Conservative MP insisted the genocide “still has lessons for humanity today” after he placed a wreath in Yad Vashem’s Hall of Remembrance, where a stone crypt contains ashes of those who died in the extermination camps and a flame which burns continuously.
Mr Johnson was given a guided tour of the sprawling site in Jerusalem and urged people to never forget the “truth of what happened” in a signed message in the museum’s guestbook.
The MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip told reporters: “It’s very important we do remember what happened and do understand that truth, because I’m afraid it still has lessons for humanity today.”
Mr Johnson added that he was struck by the “extraordinary hope” presented to museum visitors as they left and stepped “into the light” of Jerusalem.
He added: “And you understand the colossal, vital and historic importance of creating, ensuring and defending a homeland for the Jewish people.”