A pro-Israel Saudi blogger and his father have been infected with Covid-19, prompting a message from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that he will pray for him.
Mohammed Al-Saud rose to prominence on social media last year when footage of him being kicked out of Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Palestinian worshippers went viral. He announced on Twitter yesterday that he and his father have the coronavirus.
"Tough days," wrote Al-Saud in English and Hebrew. "My dad is in critical condition from cancer and corona together, I am now infected with corona and am at home, depressing."
The blogger is controversial with many Arabs and Muslims for regularly expressing his views in support of Israel against the Palestinian cause. He also posts videos of himself singing in Hebrew, and has met Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians.
Netanyahu paid tribute to that relationship by responding to Al-Saud's tweet: "To my Saudi friend Mohammed Saud, I was sorry to hear that your father and you are ill with the coronavirus. May God grant both of you a complete and speedy recovery."
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 27, 2020
The blogger's views and the freedom he has been granted to spread them have resulted in many seeing him as a symbol of increasing normalisation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv. This is an issue that has been debated widely following the normalisation deals signed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and, latterly, Sudan.