Families of Gaza soldiers thank Saudi’s King Salman for Hajj program

A Palestinian beneficiary of the program said that visiting the holy sites and performing Hajj were always among her highest hopes. (SPA)
Updated 09 September 2017

Families of Gaza soldiers thank Saudi’s King Salman for Hajj program

MADINAH: Families of Gaza martyrs expressed their appreciation for including them in the Guests of King Salman Hajj and Umrah Program this year at the king’s expense. They stressed that he has always supported the Palestinians and their just cause.
Safwat Ibrahim, one of the Gaza martyrs’ family members, offered his thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom and its leadership for this initiative. He said that this was his first pilgrimage and praised the services and good reception he witnessed. He also stressed that the Kingdom contributes a lot to the support of the Palestinian people.
Mahmud Shahter, another Palestinian beneficiary, said that he was extremely pleased to learn that he was chosen to be among the guests of the program.
Aisha Abdul-Rahim, the mother of two Gaza martyrs, also expressed her great pleasure to be included among the guests and noted the good reception they received from the organizers of the program.
Munassar Ramdan, also a Palestinian beneficiary of the program, said that visiting the holy sites and performing Hajj were always among her highest hopes, and she was very grateful for being offered this chance.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 51 min 19 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.