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Saudi car spotted in Jaffa

Businessman apparently drives from conservative kingdom to Israel

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

A Saudi car viewed in Jaffa, Friday, July 24, 2015 (Jacky Hugi Twitter account)
A Saudi car viewed in Jaffa, Friday, July 24, 2015 (Jacky Hugi Twitter account)

Cars with foreign license plates are rare enough in Israel, but the one spotted in Jaffa on Friday caused quite a stir.

Army Radio’s Arab Affairs reporter Jacky Hugi spotted a silver Mercedes parked near Jaffa’s Clock Tower bearing a Saudi license plate — a highly unusual, if not unprecedented sight in Israel. He quickly pulled out his camera, sharing the image on Twitter.

“The nuclear deal with Iran is starting to prove itself,” he wrote, in ironic reference to the shared concern over Iran’s nuclear project that has made unlikely private allies of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Later, a Facebook friend notified Hugi that he had struck up a conversation with the driver in Jerusalem, and had learned that he was a Saudi businessman.

Hugi told the Times of Israel on Sunday that he had no further information on the car, but said that if the driver were given an exceptional entry visa to Israel, there’d be no reason for his car to be banned.

No response was available from the Transportation Ministry at time of publication.

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