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  • » 12/03/2008, 00.00

    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

    05/02/2009 PALESTINE
    Palestinians in favour of truce and negotiations with Israel
    Survey shows that most people believe no one won in the recent Israel-Hamas war. A majority also believes that Hamas is taking the country in the “wrong direction.” Still, 43.5 per cent believes that the Islamist movement has come out stronger from the conflict.

    27/02/2009 PALESTINE
    Hamas-Fatat agree on eve of donors’ conference
    Palestinian factions agree to process that should lead to a national unity government. Thus aid for Gaza reconstruction should start flowing in. Israeli daily Haaretz writes that recent war benefited Hamas.

    27/06/2008 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Palestinians and Israelis violate ceasefire, but do not break it
    Two mortar rounds were fired today from the Gaza Strip, while Jerusalem is keeping the border crossings closed, but is permitting the passage of a little bit of fuel. Fayyad: the closing "is actually producing a situation where you have 1.5 million of our people who live there with a sense of not much to lose".

    02/01/2009 LEBANON
    From Beirut, solidarity with Palestinians of Gaza, but without military support
    The Israeli attack is disproportionate, and the result of domestic propaganda in view of the elections. Hezbollah, close to Hamas, rejects the hypothesis of a new war with Israel, and calls for the opening of humanitarian corridors. Divisions in the Arab world do not favor of the resolution of the crisis.

    15/06/2007 PALESTINE
    Hamas, the era of Islamic law in full control of Gaza
    Fatah’s last bastion, the presidential palace, falls; the president of the PA dissolves the government and calls for early elections. Fighters cry victory and urge the advent of Islamic law, but premier Haniyeh excludes the creation of a sate in the Strip. The hand of Tehran and Damascus.



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    EGYPT – VATICAN
    Pope in Egypt: Egypt called to condemn violence and poverty in the Middle East



    In his address to Egyptian authorities, Francis stressed Egypt’s role and responsibility in the future of the region. "In the fragile and complex situation of today’s world, which I have described as ‘a world war being fought piecemeal’, it needs to be clearly stated that no civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the Sacred Name of God.”


    ISLAM – VATICAN – EGYPT
    A Muslim writes to the pope: Dear Pope Francis . . .

    Kamel Abderrahmani

    He admires the charity shown by the pontiff towards Syrian Muslim refugees, and his push in favour of love and against hatred. Islamic scholars are not like this, he says, they do not denounce Daesh’s hatred and do nothing for Christians. He calls on the pontiff to press President to Sisi and Al Azhar to reform Islam. Without this Al Azhar risks being the academy of world fundamentalism. Here is the letter from our friend and collaborator Kamel Abderrahmani.


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