Rafah Crossing Remains Open During Ramadan - Egyptian President

Palestinians wait to travel to Egypt from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing

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.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has made a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month to allow Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.

The last extended opening lasted three weeks in 2013.

Many Palestinians injured by Israeli fire in clashes along the Gaza-Israel border have been received by Egypt.

Last Saturday, Egypt had opened the border for traffic in both directions with the intention of keeping it open for four days. At least 63 Palestinians were killed and about 2,800 injured in clashes with Israeli forces on May 14 following the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

The Rafah crossing into Egypt from the southern Gaza Strip. Adel Hana  AP
The Rafah crossing into Egypt from the southern Gaza Strip. Adel Hana AP

Rafah and the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel are the only two points through which goods can go in and out of the Hamas-run territory.

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.

For more than a decade Israel has imposed a crippling blockage on Gaza which it says is necessary to isolate Hamas, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has clashed with Israeli leaders over the Gaza killings, has vowed the extraordinary meeting will send a "strong message to the world" over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

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