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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 11, 2003

Israelis slowing down tourism bucks for Saudi Mecca trip. Gosh, those unfeeling Israelis. And this from a source of funding for terror that does not even recognize the existence of Israel.
Israel Putting Hurdles Before Palestinian Pilgrims

JEDDAH - The Israeli authorities are making it more difficult than ever for Palestine pilgrims to perform Haj, according to the Palestinian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking from Riyadh, Mustafa Hashim Deeb said that this year Palestinians are finding that there are many obstacles being put in their way as they try to finalize their Haj documents.

The Israelis are preventing many who want to perform Haj from reaching the Ministry of Interior so that they cannot complete their travel documents, he explained.

According to the ambassador, 1,000 individuals from families who have had one of their members martyred are listed as guests of King Fahd to perform Haj this year, but because so many more people have been martyred already this year the list is expected to be enlarged in the next few days.

Deeb pointed out that the Israeli authorities have put a blanket ban on officials of the Palestinian government and those who are under 35 years of age from performing Haj this year.

Other Palestinian pilgrims will start arriving on Jan. 16, he said.

On behalf of President Yasser Arafat, his government, the Palestinian people and all the Palestinians who live here in the Kingdom, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his government for making it possible for Palestinian pilgrims to perform Haj by providing them with all their needs, Deeb added.

Meanwhile, the first batch of Indonesian pilgrims arrived here yesterday.

The first group from West Java left the countrys main Soekarno-Hatta Airport on Thursday, Indonesias official Antara news agency said. Other departures were reported in Banda Aceh and Medan in Sumatra, Makassar in South Sulawesi and Solo in Central Java.

Some 205,000 Indonesians are expected to perform Haj this year

nota bene: I go frequently to WWW.Arabia.Com and have noticed that when the page opens in Arabic, there will be articles and pictures that are not there when the language is switched to Enlish. Example: when I opened this site just now, Arafat's picture was there with an article about him. But when I changed to English, the picture and article were gone. Now what to you think that could mean?