In Makkah, Muslims Begin their Hajj Pilgrimage

In Makkah, Muslims Begin their Hajj Pilgrimage

The annual Hajj pilgrimage began on Friday as Muslim pilgrims from Makkah gathered in a sizable tent camp in the desert, despite the intense heat. They circled the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, the holiest place in Islam, before leaving.

A growing number of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia joined the over 1.5 million pilgrims from around the globe who had already gathered in and around Makkah for the Hajj.

Saudi officials anticipated that this year’s figure will surpass two million.

The fierce conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, which has brought the Middle East to the verge of a regional conflict between Israel and its supporters and terrorist organizations backed by Iran on the one hand, dominated the Hajj this year.

Due to Israel’s military incursion that extended to the southern city of Rafah on the border with Egypt in May, Palestinians living in the coastal enclave of Gaza were unable to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah this year.

The pilgrim Mohammed Rafeeq, an Indian, stated as he made his way to the tent camp in Mina, “We pray for the Muslims, for our country and people, for all the Muslim world, especially for the Palestinian people.”

4,200 pilgrims from the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian authorities, arrived in Makkah for the Hajj. According to Saudi officials, 1,000 additional relatives of Palestinians slain or injured in the Gaza conflict traveled to Saudi Arabia to undertake the Hajj at King Salman’s invitation. The 1,000 invited individuals were already outside of Gaza, primarily in Egypt, prior to the Rafah gate closing.

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