Palestinians Muslim pilgrims wait at the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on March 3, 2019, before crossing to depart for the Muslim holy city of Mecca to perform the ritual Umra pilgrimage. / AFP / SAID KHATIB
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Some 800 Palestinians crossed Sunday from the Gaza Strip into Egypt on their initial stage of a pilgrimage to Mecca.The first convoy of 800 Palestinians passed into Egypt through Gaza's Rafah crossing.Umrah is the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca that can be completed throughout the year, as opposed to the annual hajj. Around 2,500 pilgrims are authorized annually to leave Gaza via Egypt for the hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam that Muslims must undertake at least once in their lifetime.
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