In many ways the dynamics harken to the enduring problem of Jerusalem, particularly the pilgrimage site Masjid Al Aqsa.
The religious rite of pilgrimage, when contaminated by religio-political elements including violence and security, make for a very complex set of elements and dynamics.
The Haj takes the same elements beyond Israel's jurisdiction into tense international relations with Muslim-state neighbors.
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clipped from www.nytimes.com
Egypt allowed about 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims to cross back into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday
Israel had demanded that they travel back to the Gaza Strip via an Israeli-controlled border crossing, Kerem Shalom, where they could undergo Israeli security checks. But Hamas refused
saying that its supporters could be arrested by Israel.
Israeli officials suspect that some of the pilgrims brought back large sums of money and other contraband for Hamas.
The Abbas-led Palestinian Authority, which rules from the West Bank, went to great efforts to organize an official quota of about 1,000 Gaza pilgrims, who were to travel to Saudi Arabia and back via Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.