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Israel to Enable Its Arab Citizens to Make Pilgrimages to Mecca

Arab citizens of Israel will be given all facilities for pilgrimages to the Moslem shrines at Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Zorach Warhaftig, Minister for Religious Affairs, promised here today.

He made that pledge to a delegation of Arabs from Nazareth who had requested such privileges. Dr. Warhaftig said the Israeli Moslems will be given the same privileges of pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia that they have been extended since Israel was reborn in 1948 for visits to Christian shrines in Jordan. Each year, since 1948, thousands of Israeli Arabs have crossed into Jordan to visit Bethlehem and other Christian holy places, especially during the Christmas and Easter periods. The pilgrims often use the occasion to visit relatives in the Arab refugee camps in Jordan, and have had no trouble being readmitted to Israel.

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