Saudi influencer Mohammed Saud has reaffirmed his support for the Jewish State after Palestinians chased him out of the Old City of Jerusalem.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, Saud sang a song in Hebrew by poet Leah Goldberg, a spokesperson for Israel's Foreign Ministry told The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu reportedly apologised to Saud for the incident on Israel’s behalf.
The blogger was touring Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – a holy place both in Judaism and Islam – when he was harassed by Palestinians protesting his visit.
This is how Palestinians welcomed a pro-Israel Saudi blogger that came to pray at Al Aqua mosque.— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) July 22, 2019
They have no respect to their holy site and to fellow Muslims. Show this to the world! pic.twitter.com/jfazWGuksF
A number of people were filmed spitting on Saud, hurling chairs at him and calling him a “traitor” and “Zionist trash”.
“He took it somewhat harshly, but he understood that this is the real face of the Palestinians,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Three Palestinians have been arrested on suspicion of attacking Saud, who was visiting Israel as part of a six-member group of journalists and bloggers from Arab countries.
They asked not to be named, with Saud being the only member of the group who agreed to reveal his identity. Saud, who speaks some Hebrew, admitted in the past to loving Israel and described it as an "icon of freedom and democracy", saying he wants official diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Israeli authorities are said to have cancelled a scheduled meeting of the delegation with local journalists following the attack on Saud.
The visit was spearheaded by Israel’s Foreign Ministry in a bid to normalise ties with the Arab world, which have been characterised by mutual hostility since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.
Tel Aviv only has formal diplomatic relations with two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, but top Israeli officials, including Netanyahu himself, have indicated that they maintain informal contacts and cooperation with Arabs.