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Muslims start Hajj against the backdrop of Israel-Hamas war

MINA, Saudi Arabia — In sweltering temperatures, Muslim pilgrims in the Saudi city of Mecca converged on a vast desert tent camp Friday, officially starting the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Earlier, they circled the cube-shaped Kaaba in the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site.

More than 1.5 million pilgrims from around the world have amassed in and around Mecca for the Hajj, and the number was growing as more pilgrims from inside Saudi Arabia join. Authorities expected the number to exceed 2 million this year.

This year’s Hajj comes against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians in Gaza were not able details ⇒

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