TEL AVIV – A well-known Saudi blogger who is in Israel at the behest of its Foreign Ministry was attacked, cursed and spat on by Palestinians during a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday.
Footage of the incident that went viral on social media shows Mohammed Saud walking through the Old City’s Arab quarter and on the Temple Mount while chairs and other objects are thrown at him, passersby shout curses and others spit in his face.
His attackers are heard telling Saud that it would be more appropriate for him to “pray with the Jews” and “pray in the synagogue, not in Al-Aqsa Mosque.” One man shouts that he should “keep letting Trump take advantage of him.” Others called him “animal,” “Zionist trash” and “traitor.”
One Arab tried to physically assault Saud but was stopped by others who told him, “Don’t touch him, we are still in Al-Aqsa.”
Nizar Amer, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, condemned the protesters.
“We strongly condemn the cruel and immoral behavior of some Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque toward a Saudi media personality who came to Jerusalem to be a bridge to peace and understanding between peoples,” Amer wrote on Twitter.
Another Foreign Ministry spokesperson described it as a “disgusting welcome.”
“A devout Muslim, coming to pray at a historical mosque, spat on because he accepted an official invitation from Israel,” Ohad Nakash Kaynar wrote.
أهلنا في #القدس المحتلة يرجمون ويطردون المتصهين السعودي محمد سعود @mohsaud08
خلال محاولته الدخول للمسجد الأقصى المبارك بعد أن التقط الصور التذكارية مع مستوطنين ومسؤولين صهاينة pic.twitter.com/1swYyXn3UF
— عبدالله الوذين (@abqatar) July 22, 2019
Palestinians attacked Saudi journalist @mohsaud08 and kicked him out of Al-Aqsa Mosque, calling him “trash, traitor Zionist”. Mohammad is a part of Arab journalists delegation visiting Israel this week. pic.twitter.com/abojmM6c6x
— Suleiman Maswadeh סולימאן מסוודה (@SuleimanMas1) July 22, 2019
Saud is part of a delegation of six Arab journalists and bloggers, including writers from Jordan and Iraq, invited to Israel this week with “the aim of exposing the journalists — some of whom come from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel — to Israeli positions on diplomatic and geopolitical issues,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Saud regularly tweets posts in support of Israel and normalizing ties between his country and the Jewish state.
The delegation is expected to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and the Knesset, as well as meeting with representatives from the Foreign Ministry and academia. They are also slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.