Saudi Arabia has arrested young activist Abdel-Aziz Al-Ouda over a tweet in support of Palestine, Abdullah Al-Ouda, son of detained prominent preacher Salman Al-Ouda, revealed on Monday.
“The family was shocked by the detention of Abdel-Aziz Al-Odah over a tweet in support of the Palestinian cause,” Abdullah tweeted.
“This detention discloses the wicked intentions regarding the detention and crackdown campaigns [in Saudi Arabia]. Even tweeting in support of Palestine and defending it [became illegal].”
Twitter users in Saudi Arabia showed their support for Abdul-Aziz and led to his name trending in the kingdom.
He added: “Saudi blogger, Mohammed Saud, who visited Israeli officials recently, continues to tweet in support of Israel and calling for normalisation,” in reference to a little known social media user who visited Israel following an invitation from Tel Aviv.
Opposition activist Omar Al-Zahrani called for activists in the kingdom not to tweet about public issues, support the Palestinian cause or criticise the royal court, Turki Al-Sheikh and Saud Al-Qahtani for fear of being sent to prison.
Arab states, excepting Jordan and Egypt, do not officially recognise the State of Israel and have openly condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories since the state’s creation in 1948. Over the past few years, however, there have been numerous secret visits to Israel by leaders such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman and each year the concept of normalising relations with Israel becomes bolder and more resolute.
In July, the foreign ministers of both Israel and Bahrain held a public meeting in the US, marking the first such incident to openly take place between a Gulf country and Israel.