On Friday morning, the Israeli borders police banned hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims, who were released in Shalit swap deal signed by the Hamas Movement of Israel last month; from leaving to the holy city of Mecca, Palestinian media agencies reported Friday morning. Israel claimed that those pilgrims do not have the official documents to leave off to Jordan, Israeli sources said.
The Palestinian head of borders, Nathmi Mhanna, said that there has been no coordination between those pilgrims and the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments.
“Those pilgrims left to the Bridge of King Husein on their own without any coordination between them and Israeli authorities. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority couldn’t make liaisons with the Israeli authority of Borders,” Mhanna told the Maan News Agency.
Palestinian pilgrims, released in Shalit exchange deal last month, have received invitations by the Saudi King to perform the Hajj Pilgrimage, an Islamic obligation. The Saudi King has offered to pay all expenses of the religious journey, the PA minister of Religious Affairs told the Maan Agency.
It is worth mentioning that the number of Palestinian pilgrims of the year 2011 is about 6600, including 2508 from the Gaza Strip, and 4090 from the Occupied West Bank.
Some 4 million Muslim pilgrims are gathering these days in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to do the Islamic rites of Pilgrimage, an Islamic obligation. During their religious journey, Muslim pilgrims perform many rites such as patrolling around Kaaba “Tawaaf”, cutting head hair, Sacrificing Islamic Halal animals and going up on the top the Mountain of “Arafat” which called the Greatest Day of Hajj.