Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia will host about 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims to the Haj scheduled to take place next month, the Saudi website Arab News reported on Monday.
Most of the Palestinians are relatives of “those who have been martyred,” the report said.
Zaid Al-Dakan, deputy chief of the Haj visitors program, recently met Palestinian Haj Committee chief Abdul Aziz Al-Saleh and an official from the Egyptian Embassy, as well as Abdul Jabbar Al-Husami, head of the Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) in Egypt.
Al-Dakan was quoted as telling local media that the pilgrims would “obtain the required visas from the Saudi Embassy in Egypt, and are supplied with return travel tickets and reservations through Saudia,” noted the report.
During their meeting, Al-Dakan praised the role of Saudi Arabia in arranging the pilgrimage for Palestinians. The Palestine Haj Committee deals with housing, financial, media, transportation, and other services.
Saudi Arabia has hosted 13,000 Palestinian Haj visitors in the last seven years, according to Arab News.
Al-Jazeera reported in June that Saudi Arabia was introducing a system of electronic identification bracelets for all pilgrims as part of security measures. The bracelets would contain healthcare information and be connected to GPS. Last year, hundreds were killed in a stampede.