Saudi Interior Ministry Apprehends 18 Violators of Hajj Regulations

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP)
Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP)
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Saudi Interior Ministry Apprehends 18 Violators of Hajj Regulations

Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP)
Muslim pilgrims arrive to cast stones at pillars in the symbolic stoning of the devil, the last rite of the annual hajj, in Mina, near the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP)

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said on Sunday Hajj security forces stationed at the entrances to Makkah apprehended 18 individuals - two residents and 16 citizens - for violating Hajj regulations.

It said that on June 15, they had transported 98 individuals attempting to perform Hajj without a permit.

The General Directorate of Passports issued 17 administrative decisions for individuals involved in illegal transportation, including a 15-day prison sentence for each transporter and a SAR 10,000 fine multiplied by the number of violators transported.

Violators also face public exposure, deportation from the Kingdom if they are residents, and a temporary ban on re-entry.

The authorities ordered the confiscation of the vehicles used in transporting the violators.

The Ministry of Interior urged all citizens and residents to strictly comply with Hajj regulations to ensure pilgrims feel safe, comfortable, and at peace when performing Hajj rituals.



Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern over Military Escalation in Yemen after Israeli Airstrikes

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Saudi Arabia Expresses Concern over Military Escalation in Yemen after Israeli Airstrikes

The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The flag of Saudi Arabia (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia expressed its deep concern on Sunday over the latest military escalation in Yemen after the Israeli attacks in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni port of Hodeidah.
The statement stressed that these developments "exacerbate the current tension in the region”.
In a statement on X platform, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The Ministry is following with great concern the military escalation in Yemen following the Israeli attacks that targeted Hodeidah province on Saturday, July 20, 2024,” emphasizing that “these developments aggravate the current tension in the region and undermine ongoing efforts to end the war in Gaza”.
The ministry also called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to distance the region and its people from the dangers of war. It also called on the international community and active influential parties to fulfill their responsibilities to end conflicts in the region.
Moreover, the ministry affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's continued efforts to end the war on Gaza and affirmed its continuous support for peace efforts in Yemen to spare its people more suffering and achieve security and peace in the region.
On Sunday, Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense, affirmed that Saudi Arabia has no relation to or participation in the targeting of the Yemeni city of Hodeidah. 
He emphasized in a statement posted on the ministry's X platform account that Saudi Arabia will not allow its airspace to be violated from any direction.