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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 12/03/2008
EGYPT - PALESTINE
Hamas: no pilgrimage to Mecca for faithful of Gaza Strip
Their offense is that they asked for permission to leave from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, controlled by Fatah. An internal power struggle is affecting the Muslims, and is judged as "an abominable crime" by the highest Sunni authority in Egypt. The news is raising ironic comments from Israeli newspapers.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "An abominable crime." This is how Mohammed Sayyed Tantaoui, imam of the mosque of Al Azhar, judges the decision by Hamas to block the pilgrimage to Mecca by a group of Palestinian faithful from the Gaza Strip. "Anyone who prevents a Muslim from making the pilgrimage to Mecca commits an abominable crime," comments the Egyptian imam, the highest Sunni authority in the country, to the official news agency Mena.

In order to meet the needs of the 3,000 Palestinian faithful, Egypt had decided to open the border crossing in Rafa, by which they would have crossed into Saudi Arabia through Nuweiba, on the Red Sea. Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamic group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since June of 2007, has blocked the pilgrims from reaching the crossing point, keeping them inside the border.

The minister of religious affairs for the Hamas government has said that he does not consider the travel visas carried by the pilgrims as valid. They were issued by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, in agreement with the Fatah movement. So it's an interior power struggle, which is affecting the pilgrims who only want to go to Mecca.

The news has also been picked up by Israeli newspapers, which are commenting ironically on the blockade imposed by Hamas: "What a sensational headline, what a fascinating paradox," says Haaretz. "What Israel has never dared to do - certainly not to this extent - is being done by a Palestinian government for which Islam is the basis of its platform and provides personal guidance for each of its ministers."


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See also
02/05/2009 PALESTINE
Palestinians in favour of truce and negotiations with Israel
06/27/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Palestinians and Israelis violate ceasefire, but do not break it
02/27/2009 PALESTINE
Hamas-Fatat agree on eve of donors’ conference
01/02/2009 LEBANON
From Beirut, solidarity with Palestinians of Gaza, but without military support
by Fady Noun
06/15/2007 PALESTINE
Hamas, the era of Islamic law in full control of Gaza

Editor's choices
IRAQ-VATICAN
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by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.

Dossier
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pp. 176
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pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
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