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Israeli Citizen Arrested in Saudi Arabia After Publicly Praising Israel

Sammi al-Obara visited kingdom, with which Israel has no diplomatic ties, to make pilgrimage to Mecca; family members say he was detained for diabetes-fueled rant in pharmacy
Screen capture from video of a form held by an Israeli citizen who was arrested in Saudi Arabia after praising Israel during an angry rant in a pharamcy, February 22, 2022. (Channel 12 News)
Screen capture from video of a form held by an Israeli citizen who was arrested in Saudi Arabia after praising Israel during an angry rant in a pharamcy, February 22, 2022. (Channel 12 News)

An Israeli citizen is being held under arrest in Saudi Arabia for an angry rant in a pharmacy during which he praised Israel as the best country in the world.

Sammi al-Obara, 40, a resident of the Bedouin city of Rahat in the southern Negev region, suffers from diabetes, which was likely the cause of his behavior, his family said.

He was arrested on Tuesday during a pilgrimage to the kingdom, according to Hebrew media reports.

Israel has no diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, which could complicate any efforts to secure his release.

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