A Saudi man was arrested in relation to a video that was posted on Twitter by an Israeli-Jewish reporter. Gil Tamary of Israel’s Channel 13 posted a controversial 10 minute long video of himself sneaking into Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, defying a law that prevents non-Muslims from entering the two most holiest cities of Islam.
The unnamed Saudi man was arrested 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.
Saudi Arabia placed no restrictions upon Muslims of any nationality and background to enter Makkah or Madinah. However, non-Muslims are not permitted in the two cities because a very specific code of conduct and behavior is required of all people within its boundaries.
The public backlash over television reporter Gil Tamary’s visit was immediate on social media, with people expressing their anger over his deception and apparent disregard for the laws of the country and sanctity of the site.
Following the outcry, Tamary tweeted that he had “not intended to offend Muslims, or any other person” while the news channel said Tamary’s report was driven by “journalistic curiosity”. The popular Israeli channel apologized for any anger stoked by his visit
The Saudi police called on all the visitors to respect the country’s laws, particularly when it comes to Makkah and Islam’s holiest sites in the Kingdom.