A group of Israeli Muslims invited to a United Nations tourism event to honor their picturesque mountain village was unexpectedly blocked from attending by host Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

According to the report, the Israeli village of Kfar Kama in the Galilee region was among 32 spots chosen by the UN as the best rural tourism destinations of the year. Winners were picked for their cultural and natural assets, as well as their commitment to economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The UN World Tourism Organization had invited both the villagers and Israeli officials along with those from 22 countries to the two-day event in the Saudi village of AlUla, starting on Sunday. However, the Israelis were never issued visas, according to people familiar with the matter who were quoted by Bloomberg. This is despite an appeal from the UN for equal treatment for member states and the Saudis spending billions to become a major player in the tourism industry.

Kfar Kama was built by Circassian immigrants from the northwest Caucasus region in the late 1800s. The town has remained ethnically Circassian ever since. Many of its 3,500 residents are Muslim and speak Circassian as their first language. Like some Bedouins, they serve in the IDF.... Read More: Arutz-7