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Sep 25, 2015

More than 700 pilgrims die in crush in worst haj disaster for 25 years

MINA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – At least 717 pilgrims from around the world were killed on Thursday in a crush outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi authorities said, in the worst disaster to strike the annual haj pilgrimage for 25 years.

At least 863 others were injured. Saudi King Salman said he had ordered a review of haj plans after the disaster, in which two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the “stoning of the devil” ritual at Jamarat.

Sep 24, 2015

More than 300 die in deadliest haj crush since 2006

MINA, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – At least 310 pilgrims were killed on Thursday in a crush at Mina, outside the Muslim holy city of Mecca, where some two million people are performing the annual haj pilgrimage, Saudi authorities said.

At least 450 others were injured in the stampede, which took place on Street 204 of the camp city at Mina, a few kilometres east of Mecca, where pilgrims stay for several days during the climax of the haj.

Sep 22, 2015
via FaithWorld

Flags, phones and human chains: Islam’s pilgrims seek the way on haj

Photo

(Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 23, 2012, REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

For the millions of Muslims set to start the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca on Tuesday, the challenge of reaching the city where Islam was born has paled in comparison with finding their way once they got here.

Sep 18, 2015

Saudi Arabia warns against haj unrest as pilgrims pray for peace

MECCA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has warned Muslim pilgrims attending next week’s haj in Mecca to avoid exploiting Islam’s annual gathering for political reasons, reflecting its worry that turmoil in the region may prompt attacks or damaging displays ofs discord.

Wearing the clothes and speaking the languages of dozens of nations, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flocked to Mecca’s Grand Mosque for Friday prayers in a show of religious harmony in a year when the region’s Muslim states are riven by conflict.

Sep 17, 2015

Saudi minister says MERS cases are reducing before haj

MECCA (Reuters) – A recent surge in cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a sometimes deadly virus, in Saudi Arabia has ebbed in the run-up to Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage, the kingdom’s Health Minister Khaled al-Falih said on Thursday.

As pilgrims poured into Mecca from around the world, the Health Ministry said it had confirmed two more cases of the disease in Riyadh on Thursday, but the number of cases has declined since last month, Falih said.

Aug 27, 2015

Abbas heats up Palestinian politics in PLO reshuffle bid

GAZA/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Abbas is acting to shake up Palestinian politics with peace talks with Israel in deep freeze and unity efforts with Hamas Islamists who run the Gaza Strip stalled.

In power for more than a decade, and facing a mounting challenge to his stewardship, Abbas, 80, resigned last week as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, its top decision-making body.

Aug 7, 2015

Palestinians delay soccer final, saying Israel blocking players

GAZA (Reuters) – The Palestinian Football Federation postponed the final Palestine Cup game between the champion teams of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after Israel denied entry permits to some of the Gaza players, sports officials said.

The Shejaia club from the Gaza Strip must pass through an Israeli border crossing to reach the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, where Sunday’s game was scheduled to be played, and to do so needs approval from Israel.

Aug 7, 2015

Palestinians delay football final, saying Israel blocking players

GAZA (Reuters) – The Palestinian Football Federation postponed the final Palestine Cup game between the champion teams of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after Israel denied entry permits to some of the Gaza players, sports officials said.

The Shejaia club from the Gaza Strip must pass through an Israeli border crossing to reach the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, where Sunday’s game was scheduled to be played, and to do so needs approval from Israel.

Aug 6, 2015

Palestinian territories come together in rare football match

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinians long riven by geography and factional feuding enjoyed a rare show of unity on Thursday in a football match that brought together teams from their two territories.

Al-Ahly, the top team in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, had travelled to the Gaza Strip to face off with the coastal enclave’s champion Shejaia – the first such visit since the eruption in 2000 of a Palestinian revolt against Israel.

Aug 6, 2015

Palestinian territories come together in rare soccer match

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinians long riven by geography and factional feuding enjoyed a rare show of unity on Thursday in a soccer match that brought together teams from their two territories.

Al-Ahly, the top team in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, had travelled to the Gaza Strip to face off with the coastal enclave’s champion Shejaia – the first such visit since the eruption in 2000 of a Palestinian revolt against Israel.

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      "I have been Reuters senior correspondent in Gaza since 1996 working alongside a team of photographers and video journalists covering one of the world's perennial 'hot spots'."
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