Saudis Won't Take Israeli Passports for Hajj After All

Jordan to come to the rescue once again by issuing temporary passports for Israeli Muslims.

new-hdc-logo
Haaretz
Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims moving around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.
Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims moving around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.Credit: AP
new-hdc-logo
Haaretz

Rumors that thawing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel would lead to an easing on regulations for Israeli Muslims wishing to make next month's annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca proved unfounded, according to Saudi-based Arab News.

The Saudi government stressed that reports last week that it would allow Arabs holding Israeli passports to enter the kingdom on condition that a consulate abroad had issued the visa were erroneous, Arab News reported Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian government confirmed that it has issued temporary passports to Arab-Israeli citizens so that they may enter Saudi Arabia for the hajj.

A reported 5,000 Arab-Israelis perform the hajj each year. Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel, so Jordan issues the visas to make the journey possible.

We understand the problems Arab-Israelis are going through, therefore we try to facilitate their travel to the Kingdom as much as we can," Marqan Qutaishat, director general of the Jordanian Passport and Civil Status Department told Arab News on Friday. "We issue them a one-month passport upon their arrival in the Kingdom, which they use when applying for a visa at the Saudi embassy for the Hajj.

He explained that pilgrims are required to hand in their temporary passports after completing the pilgrimage.

Israeli Muslims who wanted to travel to Mecca had to go through a third country such as Cyprus until the 1970s, when Saudi Arabia gave them permission to make the hajj via Jordan.

This year, for the first time, Israeli Muslims will be able to fly to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, via Amman, rather than take a bus. The hajj this year runs October 3-7.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty