Gaza, Alray - The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs(MARA) said that the first batch of pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia leave the kingdom on Monday evening and arrive on Tuesday morning in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.
Director General of the Hajj and Umrah Adel Sawalha told Alray that the first batch of the stranded pilgrims are to kick off from Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia at11:00 pm and arrive at Cairo airport where they will be transferred by buses to the Rafah crossing.
"Some 1,800 pilgrims are to arrive in Gaza in three batches lifted on three planes," Sawalha pointed out, explaining that the second batch of 615 pilgrims arrives Gaza on Wednesday, while the third arrives in the next day.
He said that the Palestinian Foreign Ministry is contacting the Egyptian officials to facilitate the entry of the pilgrims.
Sawalha pointed out that the pilgrims' conditions are very difficult in Saudi Arabia after being prevented from return following the closure of the sole crossing over turmoil in Egypt.
The Egyptian army closed Rafah crossing in front of passengers on 3 July, after clashes between gunmen and the Egyptian army due to the serious political events in Egypt.