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Saudi Arabia bars 3 mn Palestinians from Hajj


Saudi Arabia has barred more than 1.5 million Palestinian citizens of Israel from travelling on temporary Jordanian passports to perform Hajj and Umrah in Makkah, according to a report published on the 'Middle East Eye' (MEE) website.
The measure is part of Saudi Arabia's new policy to stop issuing visas for Hajj and Umrah to Palestinians in Jordan, Lebanon, East Jerusalem, and, most recently, to Palestinians living in Israel, who hold temporary travel documents issued by Jordan or Lebanon - a policy that became effective on September 12, said the report.
The Saudi move affects 2.94 million Palestinians across these states, who have no access to any other form of travel document allowing them to go to Saudi Arabia.
A Jordanian source, with an inside knowledge of his country's diplomatic affairs, told the MEE that the Saudi decision is part of a bilateral agreement with Israel to put an end to the"Palestinian identity and the right of return for refugees".
"Saudi Arabia is pressuring Jordan to naturalise the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and now Palestinians in Israel. The same could happen in Lebanon. Then, you will not have a Palestinian refugees problem," the source said. (TNN)

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