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Mohammed Assaf: 'I spit on Israel' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Mohammed Assaf: 'I spit on Israel'

Mohammed Assaf has said he will always remain true to where he came from [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2016

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When Arab idol winner Mohammed Assaf received a message from an Israeli fan telling him to come to Israel, the Palestinian singer did not hold back...
Mohammed Assaf, the Palestinian winner of Arab Idol was answering questions from fans in a skype phone-in when he received comment from an Israeli caller.

"You should come to Israel...you have Israeli blood," the fan said. Assaf did not hold back in his response.

"I spit on you and Israel," the singer replied, before returning to answer other fans' questions.

"I don't want to talk about this issue too much. The person who said that wanted to provoke me and it's known that the issue of Palestine and the Palestinian people is one of my top priorities," Assaf told The New Arab.

"At the end of the day, any artist could be subject to a similar incident, however what happened with me is a isolated incident that will no affect my relationship with my fans."

Mohammad Assaf was a wedding singer from Khan Younis in Gaza when he auditioned for the Arab Idol competition. His journey was fraught with difficulties; he was delayed for two days at Rafah crossing before managing to climb over a wall into the Cairo audition's venue.

During the 2013 competition, broadcast throughout the Arab world and beyond, he quickly gained audience popularity as he performed a wide variety of numbers, from Palestinian nationalist anthems to the hits of the Backstreet Boys.

In the series finale - in which he sang Lift up your keffiyeh, he was awarded the title Arab Idol, and has capitalised on his stardom for the past couple of years.

During the 2014 Gaza war, he released a track encouraging the Strip's beleagured population, singing "lift your head up high...it's your weapon, the origin of humanity is dignity".

The famed singer is currently on tour, and is due to perform in London in April.

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