April 13, 2024
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Israeli Channel 13 Reporter Sparks Outrage After Visiting Mecca

(Jpost) Gil Tamary, a reporter for Israel’s Channel 13, sparked outrage after he entered Mecca and filmed a report within the Muslim holy city as millions of Muslims from around the world conducted the Hajj (pilgrimage) to the city. Tamary was in Saudi Arabia as he had received a special permit, along with two other Israeli reporters, to cover the regional conference attended by US President Joe Biden last week.

Non-Muslims are completely prohibited from entering the city of Mecca and are largely banned from the city of Medina, although restrictions on access to Medina have reportedly been somewhat lightened in recent years. The ban is largely based on a verse in the Quran (Surah At-Tawbah 9:28) banning polytheists from approaching the Great Mosque in Mecca. In the Channel 13 report, Tamary notes that non-Muslims are not allowed into Mecca, but he proceeded to detail how he managed to enter the city and go up Mt. Arafat with a Muslim driver. The journalist stressed that the driver did not know that he was an Israeli journalist, as he took care to speak only in English.

Pro-Israel Saudi blogger Mohammed Saud also condemned Tamary’s entrance to Mecca, posting a video on Twitter saying, “my dear friends in Israel, a journalist of yours entered the Muslim holy city of Mecca and took video without shame. This is like if I were to enter a synagogue and read from the Torah. Shame on you, Channel 13, to hurt the Muslim religion like this. You are arrogant.”

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