The Jerusalem Post reports: Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz has for the ninth year in a row allocated funds to five hundred families of Palestinian “martyrs” – someone viewed to have died on behalf of the Palestinian national cause – to perform the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that is a pillar of faith in Islamic doctrine.
Mecca is considered the holiest site in Islam, and visiting it is an obligatory religious duty that must be practiced at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime, so long as he or she is physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey. The Saudi Minister of Islamic affairs, Saleh bin Abdul-Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh, stated in a press release at the beginning of this year that the move “comes from the king out of Muslim and Arab support for ‘Palestine’ and its people.”
Speaking to The Media Line, Mahmoud Al-Habash, the Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs, explained that the families of “martyrs” have been receiving free trips to Mecca, including all travel expenses and the procurement of related documents, since 2009.
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