Rafah crossing between Egypt, Gaza to be opened during Ramadan: Sisi

Published: May 18, 2018 11:59:23 | Updated: May 18, 2018 21:21:01


A woman waits for a travel permit to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, in the southern Gaza Strip on February 21 last - Reuters photo

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has decided to keep the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Palestinian Gaza Strip open during the holy month of Ramadan.

"I have made directions to keep the Rafah cossing opened during the holy month of Ramadan to alleviate the sufferings of our brothers in the Gaza Strip," Sisi posted on his official Facebook page on Thursday.

The Egyptian authorities have initially opened the crossing in both directions from Saturday to Tuesday, but they later decided to keep the crossing open until-further-notice cited humanitarian concerns of two million Palestinians stranded in the seaside enclave which has been under Israeli tight blockade since Hamas movement's violent takeover of the territory in 2007.

Egyptians have already received many Palestinians who were injured by Israeli fire during anti-Israel clashes along the Gaza-Israel borders.

At least 63 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed and about 2,800 wounded over the past few days in confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters against moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, the city the Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of their future state, according to a Xinhua report Friday.

After the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Egyptian government occasionally reopens the Rafah crossing for humanitarian cases, allowing the entry only of medical patients, students in foreign countries, and holders of foreign visas and passports.

Gaza has two other crossings with Israel, but they are subject to tight restrictions since 2007, which practically makes Rafah crossing the only window for Gaza residents to the outside world.

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