Egyptian court to hear case of celebrity over photos with Israelis

Prominent singer and actor Mohamed Ramadan to be taken to court after photos emerged of him with Israeli celebrities.

Tags: Egypt

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt

An Egyptian court is to hear a case against prominent singer and actor Mohamed Ramadan after photos emerged of him posing with Israeli celebrities, local media said.

The reports said a lawyer has filed a case accusing Ramadan of causing "offence to the Egyptian people" with the pictures which have sparked charges on social media of "betraying" the Palestinian Arabs.

The case is to be heard on December 19.

Also on Monday, the syndicate of Egyptian artists said on Facebook it was suspending Ramadan's membership until he is questioned "at the latest in the first week of December".

Ramadan, a 32-year-old actor and rapper, boasts millions of followers in the Arab world, is a close friend of Morocco's King Mohamed VI and won the 2019 All Africa Music Awards prize.

On Saturday, an official Facebook page in Arabic of the State of Israel posted a photo of Ramadan hugging Israeli singer Omer Adam on a rooftop in Dubai, a member of the UAE which signed a normalization deal with Israel in September.

Another widely shared photo of him with Israeli footballer Diaa Saba also caused a stir online, with the hashtag "Mohamed Ramadan is a Zionist" trending on Twitter.

The celebrity has shot back, saying: "I don't ask which country the person who wants to take a photo with me comes from unless they say themselves."

He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the Palestinian Arabs.

Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but relations have remained cold, with many Egyptians remaining fiercely opposed to Israel.