Egypt opens Gaza border for Ramadan after protesters killed

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Egypt opens Gaza border for Ramadan after protesters killed

Egypt will open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the entire month of Ramadan, the longest length of time since 2013.

The decision to keep the crossing open was taken "to alleviate the suffering" of residents in the Palestinian enclave, Sisi said on Facebook late on Thursday.

On May 14, Egypt dispatched humanitarian aid, food, relief and medical supplies to Gaza while keeping the Rafah crossing open for individuals and those injured in the Israeli attacks on the strip. It handed control of those crossings late past year to its rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, in a reconciliation deal signed in Cairo.

The protest escalated Monday as the USA opened its embassy in Jerusalem.The demonstrators charged fences separating Gaza from Israel, tearing down sections of the wire barrier and throwing rocks.

Israel sealed four of its commercial crossings with Gaza in mid-2007 after Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the strip from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Sisi's announcement comes after some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on Gaza's frontier earlier this week, with the victims described by Egypt's foreign ministry as "martyrs".

Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi announced on Twitter that the opening would "alleviate the burdens of the brothers in the Gaza Strip".

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya on Sunday briefly visited Egypt, where he met with the director of the country's intelligence services, Abbas Kamel.

The importance of Rafah border crossing increased after Israeli forces destroyed the Yasser Arafat International Airport in 2001; which was the only airport allowing Palestinians to travel.

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