Saudi blogger visiting Israel attacked by Palestinians at Temple Mount
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Saudi blogger visiting Israel attacked by Palestinians at Temple Mount

Mohammed Saud, a Netanyahu fan touring the country at the Foreign Ministry’s invitation, is heckled, spat on and has chairs hurled at him

A Saudi blogger who is in Israel at the invitation of the Foreign Ministry was attacked and cursed at Monday, during a visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Video of the incident shows a child spitting on Mohammed Saud as he visited the holy site, while others yell at him to leave.

In another clip, chairs and other objects are thrown at Saud as he walks through one of the Old City’s alleys.

One man is heard shouting at Saud, “Go to a synagogue.” Others are heard calling him an “animal” and “Zionist trash.”

A Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned Saud’s harassment.

“We strongly condemn the cruel and immoral behavior of some Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa Mosque toward a Saudi media personality who came to Jerusalem to be a bridge to peace and understanding between peoples,” Nizar Amer wrote on Twitter.

Another Foreign Ministry spokesperson called it a “disgusting welcome.”

Saud is one of six Arab journalists and bloggers, including representatives from Jordan and Iraq, brought to Israel by Israel’s Foreign Ministry, which has sought to highlight growing ties between Israel and the Arab world.

The blogger, who speaks Hebrew, is an unabashed partisan of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; his Twitter feed is loaded with messages of support for Israel, Netanyahu and the Likud party. His username on the micro-blogging platform is written in Hebrew as well as in Arabic, and his description includes an Israeli flag emoji and the words “Only Bibi!” using Netanyahu’s nickname.

The group of journalists and bloggers were slated to visit Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Knesset, holy sites, and to meet with members of Israeli academia during the trip.

Saud is also reportedly expected to meet Netanyahu on Tuesday.

The ministry has said the visit has “the aim of exposing the journalists –- some of whom come from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel -– to Israeli positions on diplomatic and geopolitical issues.”

AFP contributed to this report.

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