First group of West Bank Hajj pilgrims arrive in Medina
Published Tuesday 01/10/2013 (updated) 02/10/2013 11:13
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The first group of West Bank hajj pilgrims arrived in Medina on Monday after traveling more than 30 hours by bus.
A Ma'an reporter who accompanied the pilgrims said that all West Bank residents had to first travel to Jordan, which requires crossing three different border controls.
After arriving in Jordan, the pilgrims then take a bus to Saudi Arabia, stopping on the way to eat and rest.
Ma'an's correspondent said that the rest houses were often poorly equipped and not suitable to host visitors making hajj.
The only thing that eases the pilgrims' journey is the fact they they will soon visit the tomb of Prophet Muhammad, he added.
A PA official from the ministry of endowment told Ma'an that officials had arrived in Saudi Arabia 48 hours before the pilgrims to check on accommodation.
"Travel procedures will be discussed with officials in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is inappropriate that pilgrims travel for more than eight and sometimes ten hours without a stop."