Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said the kingdom will host 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims this Hajj season, Anadolu news agency reported.
“The hosting of relatives of wounded, killed and imprisoned Palestinians reflects the kingdom’s support for Palestine, Islamic holy sites and Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Sheikh Al-Sudais said in statements published by state news agency SPA.
On Saturday, Saudi King Salman ordered that the kingdom host 1,000 relatives of Palestinian martyrs, prisoners and those wounded to perform the Hajj this year as guests of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Program, which is supervised and implemented by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, according to SPA.
Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said the move “comes as an affirmation of the depth of relationship and his appreciation of the great sacrifices made by the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs, Hatem Al-Bakri, praised King Salman’s order, stressing that “Saudi Arabia’s support for the Palestinians is generous in all fields, especially serving and caring for Palestinian pilgrims.”
Saudi Arabia has hosted 1,000 Palestinian relatives of martyrs on an annual basis for several years, but this year it expanded the pool of Palestinians who can benefit from the programme to include the families of prisoners and those wounded.
Saudi Arabia said Saturday it expects to receive two million Muslim pilgrims during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage which is due to start on 26 June.