Egypt to Keep Rafah Crossing Open for a Month

Egypt to Keep Rafah Crossing Open for a Month

Egypt will keep the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip open for a month, marking the longest period in years that the gateway to and from the economically battered enclave has been accessible.

“I instructed concerned agencies to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah border crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in order to ease the burden on by the brothers in the Gaza Strip,” Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi announced on social media late Thursday.

Egypt and Israel have kept Gaza under a blockade since the militant group Hamas seized control in 2007. Previously, Egypt would open the crossing for three consecutive days from time to time, allowing only medical patients, students and those with permits for Egypt to cross.

At least 60 Palestinians have been killed since protests in Gaza erupted on Monday, fuelled by the US embassy opening in Jerusalem and the Nakba anniversary commemoration of Israel’s founding.

Those events made Monday the bloodiest day in Gaza since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, which still controls the territory.

Israel says that Hamas, an Islamist group that most of the West considers a terrorist organization, was using the protests as a mask to breach the Israeli border fence and attempt attacks on Israeli civilians.

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