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July 22, 2022 11:00 am

Saudi Arrested After Israeli Journalist’s Mecca Report

avatar by i24 News and Algemeiner Staff

Muslims pray at the Grand Mosque, during the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 6, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Umit Bektas.

i24 News – Authorities in Saudi Arabia on Friday announced the arrest of a Saudi man who helped a “non-Muslim” to travel to Mecca, following a controversial report by an Israeli journalist who snuck into Islam’s holiest site.

The video report from Saudi Arabia by Israeli Channel 13 News chief news editor Gil Tamary sparked an avalanche of backlash on social media earlier this week.

“A citizen accomplice who led and facilitated the entry of a non-Muslim journalist, holding American citizenship, into the holy city, has been transferred to the prosecution,” Mecca’s police spokesman said.

This is “a direct violation of the regulations which prohibit entry to Mecca to non-Muslims,” he explained, adding that “legal proceedings” will be initiated against the “accomplice.”

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“The case of the journalist who committed this crime has been transmitted to the general prosecutor’s office, who will take the necessary measures.”

In his 10-minute video report, Tamary was accompanied by a person who appeared to be a local guide whose face was blurred to prevent his identification. Originally in Saudi Arabia to cover US President Joe Biden’s trip to the kingdom, he aired the report a week after millions of Muslims around the world made the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Non-Muslims are strictly prohibited from entering the holy Saudi city, a prohibition based on a verse in the Quran, forbidding polytheists from approaching the Grand Mosque of Mecca.

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