A blogger and law student from Saudi Arabia visiting Israel as a guest of the Foreign Ministry was assaulted and spit upon by local Arab residents during his visit to the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem.
Mahmoud Saud is part of a six-person delegation of journalists and bloggers from Arab countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic relations, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He was the only member willing to make his name public, according to reports.
Videos of Saud visiting the Temple Mount on Monday posted on social media showed men shouting angrily at him in Arabic as boys spit on him. In the Arab market in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, someone tossed a white plastic chair that hit Saud squarely on the back. Among the epithets shouted in Arabic, according to translated reports, were “traitor,” “Zionist trash” and “pray in the synagogue, not in Al-Aqsa mosque.”
Three Palestinian residents of eastern Jerusalem were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of participating in the attacks, Ynet reported.
Another video from inside the Mosque. pic.twitter.com/bsTdpXOXC2
— Suleiman Maswadeh סולימאן מסוודה (@SuleimanMas1) July 22, 2019
Emmanuel Nahshon, who stepped down as Foreign Ministry spokesman last week and will become Israel’s ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, in a tweet called the delegation “a bridge of dialogue.”
“Only by personally introducing and visiting the country can the walls of hostility and prejudice be broken,” he said. “We open the door and the heart, so that our neighbours can see us as we really are. It is with great pride and a small step on the way to peace.”
Acting ministry spokesman Nizar Amer in a tweet said the ministry condemned the “brutal and immoral behavior of some Palestinians near al-Aqsa Mosque.”
בדומה למשלחות אחרות שאנחנו מארגנים , משלחת זו היא גשר של הידברות . רק באמצעות היכרות אישית וביקור בארץ ניתן לשבור חומות של איבה ודיעות קדומות . אנחנו פותחים את הדלת ואת הלב , על מנת ששכנינו יוכלו לראות אותנו כפי שאנחנו באמת. זוהי גאווה גדולה ועוד צעד קטן בדרך לשלום .
— Emmanuel Nahshon (@EmmanuelNahshon) July 21, 2019
He also tweeted: “Those are grotesquely exploiting the holy places as a political tool. We embrace the young man who was and will remain a guest of honour in Israel.”
A pinned post on Saud’s twitter feed in English calls for the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia and asks viewers to “please support peace.”
The delegation is scheduled to meet Tuesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visit the Knesset and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
לרשתות החברתיות הועלו סרטונים המתעדים ניסיונות לתקוף את פעיל הרשת הסעודי מוחמד סעודי שביקר היום במסגד אל-אקצא. סעודי הוא חלק ממשלחת אנשי תקשורת ממדינות ערב שהגיעה לישראל. בסרטונים שפורסמו הושמעו נגדו קריאות וישנו תיעוד המראה כיצד זורקים עליו כיסאות בעיר העתיקה@MosheBerkovitch pic.twitter.com/Kd3cz3xdR6
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 22, 2019
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