Egypt to open Rafah border for Muslim holy month of Ramadan

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday opened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to his official Twitter account.

In his message, the Egyptian President said that,  “I gave directions to the relevant institutions to take the necessary steps to keep the Rafah crossing open during the blessed month of Ramadan in order to alleviate the burdens of (our) brothers in Gaza.”

The border with the Palestinian territory is mostly shut but opens at regular intervals, for a few days every two or three months. This would be the longest single opening in years.

The border was closed for long periods after attacks on Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, which since 2013 have increased, with Egyptian officials blaming Palestinian militants from Gaza for some of them.

The lengthy closures of the Rafah crossing have further restricted Palestinians’ access to health care and basic goods, helping tighten the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

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