RealNews

Gazans’ Passage to Mecca Seen as an Insult to Abbas

What appeared to have been a decision by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to cooperate with Hamas rather than with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in allowing 2,000 people to leave Gaza last week for a pilgrimage to Mecca is causing friction in Palestinian, Israeli and Western circles. Some officials said the move was an insult to Mr. Abbas, a moderate. Only two weeks ago, Egyptian, Saudi and other international representatives gathered in Annapolis, Md., to support him and the embryonic Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. The pilgrims crossed directly from Gaza, which is under Hamas control, into Egypt, through the Rafah border terminal. From Egypt, they traveled on to Saudi Arabia, where the pilgrimage, called a hajj, is to take place this month. Full Story

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