“Israeli” aggression blocks 2,500 Gaza pilgrims from performing Hajj


Published: 2024-06-15 19:17

Last Updated: 2024-07-13 10:13

Rafah Border Crossing
Rafah Border Crossing

The “Israeli” aggression on Gaza and the occupation of the Rafah Border Crossing have prevented 2,500 Palestinians from performing the Hajj pilgrimage this year, according to the Gazan Ministry of Endowments.

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Ministry spokesperson Ikrami Al-Mudallal expressed concerns over what he called a "clear violation of religious freedom.”

He emphasized that this group represents 38 percent of the total 6,600 Palestinian pilgrims, especially since many have waited years for their turn and 70 percent are elderly or sick.

The Ministry of Endowments in Gaza has been in contact with Saudi Arabian and Egyptian authorities to address the situation and ensure that affected pilgrims do not lose their right to perform Hajj next year, with priority given to them.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz's gesture to host 500 pilgrims from Gaza's families affected by the war was allocated to families outside Gaza this year, according to Al-Mudallal.

In a separate development, Saudi Arabia hosted 1,000 pilgrims from Gaza's families affected by the war as part of its Hajj and Umrah Guest Program.

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The Ministry of Endowments in Gaza conducted a lottery in March 2023 to select pilgrims for 2023 and 2024 due to limited slots and the ongoing blockade, prioritizing the elderly and sick.