KSA denounces Trump’s Jerusalem move as ‘irresponsible and unwarranted’

Palestinian protesters chant slogans as they wave their national flags and pictures of late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat during a protest at the main Square in Gaza City on Dec. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Updated 07 December 2017
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KSA denounces Trump’s Jerusalem move as ‘irresponsible and unwarranted’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday expressed "great disappointment" over US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the royal court said the Kingdom had previously warned of the serious consequences of such an "irresponsible and unwarranted step."
On Tuesday, Saudi King Salman warned Trump that moving the US embassy for Israel to Jerusalem was a “dangerous step” that could rile Muslims worldwide.
"The Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the (Trump) administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, which have been affirmed by the relevant international resolutions and have been recognized and supported by the international community," the statement said.
It said that although Trump's move does not diminish the "inalienable and preserved rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem and other occupied territories," it does "exemplify a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward."
"(It) is a shift away from the United States‘ historically impartial position with regard to the issue of Jerusalem, which will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," the royal court said.
It said Saudi Arabia is calling on the US administration to reverse its action and support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights.
"The Kingdom reaffirms the importance of finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, so that the Palestinian people can regain their legitimate rights, which will strengthen security and stability in the region," the statement said."
Trump's action was widely denounced, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying it was not only "irresponsible and illegal" also plays into the hands of terrorists.
Jordan decried the announcement as a violation of international law and the UN charter.


More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

Updated 20 August 2018
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More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

  • Pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future
  • 'We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved'

JEDDAH: Millions of pilgrims gathered on Monday on the plains of Mount Arafat to perform the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage.
On Arafat pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future.
It is the most important part of the Hajj pilgrimage, during which the Khutbah (sermon) of Hajj is narrated and Dhuhr and Asr prayers are offered together.
Buses could be seen parked around the hill as workers hurriedly picked up empty water bottles near a yellow sign that read “Arafat starts here” in both English and Arabic.
Carrying brightly colored umbrellas under the blazing sun, worshippers scaled the rocky hill southeast of the holy city of Makkah.

Arms raised, pilgrims repeated “There is no God but Allah” and “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
“The feeling is indescribable,” said Umm Ahmad, 61, who made the journey from Egypt, told AFP.
This year almost 2.4 million Muslims, from every corner of the world, left Mina headed to Arafat. The pilgrims made the journey with ease the movement of traffic was smooth, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Traffic authorities, security personnel and staff from various government and private sector organizations, in addition to 4,000 Saudi scouts, have been deployed to assist and guide the pilgrims in several languages.
The Saudi leadership ordered authorities to provide more comfort, security and tranquility for pilgrims to complete their rituals.
Some of the pilgrims — men in white seamless garments and women in loose dresses — pushed elderly relatives in wheelchairs on the second day of the Hajj.
Jai Saleem, a 37-year-old Pakistani, said he cried when he and his wife arrived on Mount Arafat, where Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon.

 


“It feels great,” he said. “I have always seen this area, since my childhood, in photographs and on television.”
After sunset prayers, pilgrims made their way down Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah, another holy site where they will sleep under the stars to prepare for the final stage of Hajj, a symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual.
“We know that it’s a difficult task,” said Amna Khan, a 35-year-old American Muslim pilgrim.
“That’s why we are all here. We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved.”
A hot wind blew across the hill and the surrounding plain after a downpour late Sunday. Many faithful could be seen sipping from bottles of water throughout the day.
“I knew it would be a little hard to climb Mount Arafat,” said Nigerian pilgrim Saidou Boureima.
“So I prepared for this challenge by working out. And God willing, we can see it through.”
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which every Muslim is required to complete at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so.
Arafat includes an open plain and Mount Arafat, which is also called Jabal Al-Rahma (Mountain of Mercy), that is 300 meters wide and 70 meters high.
Arafat is surrounded by an arc of mountains and Wadi Arana and is located east of Makkah.
Muslims on Tuesday observe the first day of Eid Al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj.
They traditionally slaughter sheep for the three-day Eid Al-Adha, a tribute to the Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.
They will consume some of the meat and give the rest to poor people unable to buy food.