Mideast Daily News

Despite “Thaw” in Relations, Saudi Rule Bars Israeli Muslims from Hajj

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

November 7, 2018

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Despite the mass of attention focused on the apparent “thaw” in relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Saudis have nevertheless changed an administrative rule that effectively prevents Muslims who live in Israel from attending the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are required to make at least once in their lifetime. Until now, Hajj participants traveled to Saudi Arabia on temporary passports issued by Jordan in an accommodation first created by the late King Hussein. But the Saudis have announced they will no longer accept temporary passports, a decision that will impact thousands. Palestinians living in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will need to obtain documents from the Palestinian Authority in order to make the pilgrimage. Meanwhile, Arab Israeli lawmakers are seeking to convince the Saudis to rescind the new rule.

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