Israeli journalist sneaks into Mecca triggering online backlash | News

An Israeli journalist has breached a complete ban on non-Muslim entry to Islam’s holiest web site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, triggering a web-based backlash and doubtlessly straining rising ties between Tel Aviv and Gulf nations.

Israel’s Channel 13 Information aired a 10-minute report on Monday during which journalist Gil Tamary drove previous the Grand Mosque that homes the cube-shaped Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam, and climbed the Mount of Mercy.

Tamary, who was accompanied by a neighborhood information whose face was blurred to forestall identification, lowered his voice whereas chatting with the digicam in Hebrew and at instances switched to English to keep away from revealing himself as Israeli.

The report was billed as a scoop and the journalist the primary Jewish Israeli reporter to doc the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj.

The footage obtained a powerful on-line backlash, with the Twitter hashtag “A Jew in Mecca’s Grand Mosque” trending after the report was aired.

Among the many critics was Mohammed Saud, a pro-Israel Saudi activist. “My expensive mates in Israel, a journalist of yours entered town of Mecca, holy to Islam, and filmed there shamelessly,” he mentioned.

“Disgrace on you Channel 13, for hurting the faith of Islam like that. You might be impolite.”

Israel’s regional cooperation minister Esawi Freij, who’s Muslim, denounced Tamary’s report as “silly and dangerous” to Israel-Gulf ties.

“It was irresponsible and damaging to air this report only for the sake of scores,” he added.


Tamary, who was in Jeddah overlaying United States President Joe Biden’s go to on Friday, apologised after the net backlash saying he had not supposed to offend Muslims.

“If anybody takes offence to this video, I deeply apologize,” he wrote in English on Twitter.

“The aim of this complete endeavour was to showcase the significance of Mecca and the great thing about the faith, and in doing so, foster extra non secular tolerance and inclusion,” he added.

The journalist claimed “inquisitiveness is on the coronary heart and heart of journalism” and that his reporting had been guided by the will to permit individuals to “see, for the primary time, a spot that’s so necessary to our Muslim brothers and sisters, and to human historical past”.

The Mount of Mercy oversees the plain of Arafat, revered because the place the place the Prophet Muhammad held his final sermon 14 centuries in the past.

Mecca is probably the most sacred place of worship for Muslims on this planet, adopted by the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Solely Muslims are allowed to go to Mecca, whereas non-Muslims can’t enter. The breach of this rule can lead to a effective or deportation.

Mending ties

Saudi media, tightly managed by the federal government, didn’t cowl the story. It was unclear whether or not authorities had accepted the journalist’s Mecca journey.

Israel and Saudi Arabia don’t have any diplomatic relations, and the dominion doesn’t recognise Israel as a state.

However behind the scenes, the 2 sides have been working collectively on safety points for a while, with a typical concern over the rising affect within the area of their widespread enemy Iran.

Saudi Arabia mentioned final week it could open its airspace to all air carriers, paving the way in which for extra overflights to and from Israel, in an extra signal that relations between the 2 international locations are warming.

The Biden administration desires Saudi Arabia to be its personal addition to the normalisation offers referred to as the “Abraham Accords”, a course of underneath former President Donald Trump that noticed Israel normalise ties with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

French journalist killed during Russian bombardment in Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, 32, killed throughout Russian bombardment {that a} hit car evacuating civilians, officers say.

A French journalist has been killed throughout a Russian bombardment that struck a car evacuating civilians from japanese Ukraine, French and Ukrainian officers stated.

“Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was in Ukraine to indicate the truth of struggle,” French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Onboard a humanitarian bus with civilians compelled to flee to flee Russian bombings, he was mortally wounded.”

Leclerc-Imhoff was working for the BFM tv information channel, which stated he was 32 years previous and on his second Ukraine reporting journey because the struggle started on February 24.

He was close to Severodonetsk, a metropolis in Ukraine’s east that has been pounded by advancing Russian troops in current weeks, the French and Ukrainian overseas ministries stated in separate statements.

International Minister Catherine Colonna, who visited Kyiv on Monday, wrote on Twitter that Leclerc-Imhoff had been killed “by a Russian bombardment of a humanitarian mission whereas he was finishing up his responsibility to tell.

“I’ve spoken with the federal government of Luhansk and requested President [Volodymyr] Zelensky for an inquiry, they usually assured me of their assist and help,” she wrote.

BFM stated its journalist had been hit by shrapnel from the bombing, and his colleague Maxime Brandstaetter was wounded. Their native fixer Oksana Leuta was not harm.

“This tragic occasion reminds us of the hazards confronted by all journalists who’ve been risking their lives to explain this battle for greater than three months now,” BFM stated in a press release.

A Donetsk People's Republic militia's multiple rocket launcher fires from its position
Professional-Russian forces hearth a rocket launcher close to Panteleimonivka in japanese Ukraine [Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo]

Macron wrote, “I share the grief of his household, relations and colleagues,” including that “to those that make sure the troublesome mission of reporting in fight zones, I need to reiterate France’s unconditional help.”

Reporters With out Borders, a world media advocacy group, stated at the least eight journalists have been killed whereas reporting on the Ukraine battle.

Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai stated on Telegram that “our armoured evacuation car was going to choose ten folks up from the realm and got here beneath enemy hearth.”

The Voice of Palestine: When a journalist becomes the story | Israel-Palestine conflict

Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces on Could 11, whereas masking an Israeli army raid within the occupied West Financial institution metropolis of Jenin.

On this particular version of Speak to Al Jazeera: Within the Subject, Shireen’s colleagues and mates pay tribute to her legacy and clarify the challenges of being a Palestinian journalist reporting on a extremely private story.

We take a look at how the media is commonly focused, which at instances makes journalists themselves the centre of the story.