Families of Palestinian martyrs given royal Hajj award hit by rise in travel fees

Families of Palestinian martyrs given royal Hajj award hit by rise in travel fees

GAZA CITY (Rahnuma): For Mohammed Talib and his mother, their dream of performing Hajj has become a reality, thanks to the generosity of Saudi Arabia’s leadership.

After years of waiting, the pair were selected for the pilgrimage as part of King Salman’s hosting of 1,000 families of Palestinian martyrs.

Talib, whose father Adnan was killed in an Israeli air strike in 2006 while driving an ambulance, said: “If it were not for this offer, we would not have been able to perform Hajj because of the high fees and financial costs for the Palestinian pilgrims, and the deteriorating economic and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.”

The initiative began in 2001, with the goal of allowing thousands of pilgrims to perform Hajj, annually divided between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Suspended in 2006 and revived again in 2008, the selection process of the martyrs’ families is based on seniority covering those killed after the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Since 2011 a total of 1,000 pilgrims a year have benefitted from the royal award.

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