Haniyeh shaving head in Mecca
Photo: Reuters

Haniyeh goes on pilgrimage to Mecca

Eid al Adha brings several leaders to Mecca in unofficial summit. Mashaal, Haniyeh, Omar Suleiman arrive for pilgrimage. Haniyeh has his head shaved as customary to eliminate classes at holy site

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas departed a few days ago from the Gaza Strip, in order to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha in Islam's holiest city Mecca in Saudi Arabia.


The holiday started on Saturday and lasts for a few days. On Monday Haniyeh was photographed while having his head shaved before the pilgrimage to Mecca.


Haniyeh arrived in the holy city in order to observe the Hajj, the pillar of Islam which compels all Muslims to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.


As customary on the pilgrimage, Haniyeh had his head shaved and was dressed in a white cloak. These are part of the purifying symbols performed on the Hajj, and their purpose is to ensure that all pilgrims are viewed equally, and all social status differences are eliminated.

Preparing for Hajj. Haniyeh in Mecca. (Photo: Reuters)


In addition to Haniyeh, other Hamas officials made their way to Mecca, including Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and First Deputy to the President of The Palestinian Legislative Council Ahmad Bahr.


Haniyeh took advantage of this opportunity and held political meetings in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and the Saudi heir.


According to reports Monday morning throughout the Arab world, Haniyeh and Mashaal met with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in Mecca on Saturday, who was also in Mecca carrying out the Hajj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.


Reports said that the three discussed Israel's latest offer regarding the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit.


Simultaneously, different sources report that at this coming Thursday's meeting between Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm A- Sheikh, a breakthrough on the Shalit matter may be achieved.


פרסום ראשון: 01.01.07, 17:22
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