News4U-Hamas criticizes Saudi Arabia over Hajj - English

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A Hamas senior official has lashed out at Saudi Arabia for not granting visas to Gazans who want to go on the Hajj pilgrimage. In remarks posted on Hummaas's website, Atef Edwan said Riyadh had allowed thousands of people registered with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to have visas but not the 2,200 in Gaza who applied through Hummaas, AFP reported. "By ignoring those Gaza pilgrims registered with the Waqf (department of religious affairs) Saudi Arabia is making a political mistake that will have negative consequences on the Saudi regime and the whole region," AFP quoted Edwan as saying. Meanwhile media outlets quoted unnamed witnesses as saying that Hummaas police set up checkpoints across Gaza on Saturday, to prevent those who coordinated their pilgrimage with the movement's rival, the Palestinian Authority from traveling. Since last month tensions between Hummaas and the Palestinian Authority has heightened as the Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas increased the detention of Hummaas' members.

Added by news4you on 06-12-2008
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