Two Israelis on trial for alleged plot to attack Hajj
RIYADH: Two Israelis went on trial in Saudi Arabia on Monday for allegedly plotting an attack during the Hajj pilgrimage, according to the charge sheet and local media reports.
The charge sheet, a copy of which AFP obtained from a source who attended the first hearing, said the two suspects had travelled to the kingdom which is home to Islam’s holiest site on passports of an Arab country.
The two men were charged with spying for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and of planning “a terrorist act for the Hajj season”, which this year falls in August, while one of them was also accused of contacts with the Islamic State jihadist group.
The Saudi dailies Okaz and Al-Riyadh said the trial opened in the capital’s special anti-terrorism court, without specifying when the men had been arrested.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations.
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform it once in their lifetime. The Hajj is seen as a chance to wipe clean past sins and start fresh.