Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has ordered the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip for the entire holy month of Ramadan, days after mass protests at the Gaza border in which more than 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.
Egypt's President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi orders the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the entire Muslim holy month of Ramadan. https://t.co/TZeR08oV3N
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 18, 2018
Sisi made the announcement on Twitter late on Thursday, marking the longest duration since 2013 that the only crossing connecting Gaza to Egypt would be accessible for.
أصدرت توجيهاتى للأجهزة المعنية بإتخاذ ما يلزم لإستمرار فتح معبر رفح البرى طوال شهر رمضان المبارك وذلك ضماناً لتخفيف الأعباء عن الأشقاء فى قطاع غزه#تحيا_مصر
— Abdelfattah Elsisi (@AlsisiOfficial) May 17, 2018
“I have instructed the concerned agencies to take the necessary steps to keep the Rafah border crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in order to ensure the easing of the burdens on the brothers in the Gaza Strip.”
Egyptian President Sisi orders authorities to keep the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip — closed for long periods of time since 2013 — open for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan pic.twitter.com/FbihxJvReB
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 18, 2018
Ramadan started on May 17 and is expected to end on June 14.
Rafah is the main exit for the 1.9 million Palestinians in the Strip to the outside world since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the besieged territory more than a decade ago.
Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be kept open “throughout the holy month of Ramadan to ease the burden of our brothers in Gaza,” Egypt’s President Sisi tweeted early Friday, after Israel's lethal response to Palestinian protests pic.twitter.com/mMjYlVA24V
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 17, 2018
But following el-Sisi’s rise to power in 2014, Egypt has kept the crossing largely closed.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi makes a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month, allowing Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.#Egypt #Palestinians #Sisi https://t.co/012e5MjJu1
— Randa HABIB (@RandaHabib) May 18, 2018
The Erez crossing, the other exit for Gazans, is managed by the Israelis, who put severe limitations on the number of people who can pass through it.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) May 16, 2018
Egypt’s decision on Thursday comes amid heightened tensions along the Gaza-Israel border over the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 18, 2018
On Monday, at least 60 Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli forces as they held demonstrations near the Israeli-Gaza fence as part of the Nakba or “Catastrophe” protests.
(AJE, PC, Social Media)