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Bahar appeals to Saudi King to facilitate travel of Gaza pilgrims

July 2, 2012

Friday, December 5. 2008
GAZA, (PIC)– Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, on Wednesday appealed to Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz to facilitate the travel of Gaza pilgrims to Makkah to perform Hajj rituals this year, highlighting the honorable positions of Saudi Arabia in support of the Palestinian cause.

During a session held in the context of parliamentary regular meetings and dubbed breaking of the siege and the protection of the resistance, Dr. Bahar deplored the trials held against the Palestinian lawmakers imprisoned in Israel jails especially PLC speaker Dr. Aziz Dweik.

The acting speaker also strongly denounced the repeated assaults on the Palestinian citizens in Al-Khalil committed by the Israeli settlers, questioning the absence of the PA security apparatuses’ role in defending Al-Khalil people.

For his part, Dr. Taleb Abu Sha’er, the minister of religious affairs, explained in detail during the session the crisis of pilgrims in Gaza.

Dr. Abu Sha’er said that the ministry wanted the pilgrimage season to be an occasion of reunion between Gaza and the West Bank people and wanted to cooperate with the officials in Ramallah to facilitate the travel of pilgrims, but they refused.

The minister added that his ministry had agreements with Hajj and Umrah companies and chose 2,200 pilgrims out of 19,000 by casting lots, adding that the ministry completed all preparations and payments five months ago and there was nothing left except getting visas.

He pointed out that according to the protocol followed every year with the ministry of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, the Gaza share is 40% and the rest goes to the West Bank, but the Gaza share this year was seized by the PA in Ramallah.

He elaborated that the unconstitutional PA government registered names of citizens from Gaza unofficially and randomly for known purposes and then announced last Friday a number of names, adding that those pilgrims specified by the PA did not have visas or even passports and their names were unknown by the interior ministry.

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