Egyptian President Sisi orders Gaza border opened for Ramadan

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi

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.

At least 63 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were killed and about 2,800 wounded over the past few days in confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters against moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem, the city the Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of their future state.

"We have said that this issue would have negative ramifications on Arab and Islamic public opinion, leading to disenchantment, instability and repercussions on the Palestinian cause", El-Sisi, who voiced concerns over relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in a phone call with Trump last December, said at the National Youth Conference held in Cairo on Wednesday.

The border with the Palestinian territory is mostly shut but opens at regular intervals, for a few days every two or three months.

The president added that the Israelis must "understand that the reactions of the Palestinians to the issue are legitimate", while urging Israelis to be "very careful" with the lives of Palestinians.

Israel said Wednesday that Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border have dropped off dramatically, citing what it said were Egyptian efforts to restore calm.

The Islamist group Hamas controls Gaza, but not its most important crossings, Rafah with Egypt and Erez with Israel.

Egypt fears the project will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from the Nile river in Ethiopia's highlands and via Sudan.

Sisi also said more time was needed to resolve a dispute with Addis Ababa over a $4 billion-hydroelectric dam it is building on the Nile.

Latest News