Israeli gov’t stated ‘glad’ with reporter, TV community’s apologies over Mecca journey

Israeli authorities officers are glad with the statements issued by a nationwide information community and its reporter apologizing for broadcasting an unlawful go to to the holy Muslim metropolis of Mecca, a supply in Jerusalem acquainted with the matter advised The Occasions of Israel on Wednesday.

The Sunday go to to Mecca by Channel 13’s Gil Tamary violated Saudi regulation, which bars non-Muslims from town. It sparked quick uproar, with the subject nonetheless trending on social media for Center East customers as of Wednesday night.

On Tuesday — a day after the report aired — each Channel 13 and Tamary issued statements saying they apologized if the phase had offended Muslims however stood by the choice to air it, deeming it a major journalistic accomplishment. The ten-minute report confirmed Tamary being pushed into town by an area who agreed to sneak him into Mecca. He filmed himself climbing Mount Arafat earlier than rapidly heading again upon arousing the suspicion of a number of guards on the holy website.

The Israeli authorities has shunned commenting on the published, however the supply acquainted with the matter indicated that it had brought about a headache for Jerusalem, which has been looking for to heat and finally normalize relations with Saudi Arabia. It is a purpose that Israeli and US officers have acknowledged is not going to be realized within the close to future and Riyadh’s international minister additionally dumped chilly water on the concept final weekend. However some analysts, citing the widespread Muslim outrage, argue that Tamary’s go to could nicely have additional difficult normalization efforts,

The supply who spoke with The Occasions of Israel declined to touch upon whether or not the federal government had been concerned within the selections by Channel 13 and Tamary to challenge the apology statements.

Earlier Wednesday, Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej decried the TV report as “silly.”

“I feel it was stupidity,… completely misplaced [and] simply [done] for rankings,” Frej, who’s the second Muslim minister in Israeli historical past, advised the Kan public broadcaster. Frej additionally argued that the phase would hurt the prospects of Saudi-Israel normalization.

“It is a holy place for Muslims,” stated Frej. “What was the purpose? You need a report from there, ship a Muslim journalist!… The injury from this can be vital.”

Tamary was one in every of simply three members of the Israeli press allowed into Saudi Arabia to cowl the GCC+3 summit this previous weekend.

Saudi Arabia rejected recognition of the Jewish state in 1948 and maintains that coverage partly as a result of Israeli-Palestinian battle. That, nonetheless, began to alter in recent times, with behind-the-scenes makes an attempt to advertise diplomatic and safety cooperation within the face of the Iranian menace.

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia introduced it was opening its airspace to all civilian overflights, in a transfer broadly considered a part of US-brokered efforts to advance normalization steps between Jerusalem and Riyadh. The announcement occurred whereas US President Joe Biden was visiting Israel, hours earlier than he traveled to Jeddah and met Saudi leaders.

Nevertheless, Saudi International Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stated Saturday that Riyadh’s determination to open its airspace had “nothing to do with diplomatic ties with Israel” and was “not in any means a precursor to any additional steps” towards normalization.

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