Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Thursday ordered that the necessary measures be taken to keep the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt open throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Egypt Today reported.
“I issued directives to take the necessary measures to keep the Rafah border crossing open throughout the holy month of Ramadan in a bid to relieve some of the burdens suffered by our brothers in the Gaza strip,” Sisi tweeted.
Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times since that attack, mostly for the passage of humanitarian cases.
Egypt blames Hamas terrorists for providing the weapons for the lethal 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.
The crossing was supposed to reopen for three days soon after a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal was reached in October, but Egypt cancelled the opening following an Islamic State (ISIS) attack in northern Sinai which claimed the lives of six Egyptian soldiers.
Earlier this week, reported Egypt Today, the country dispatched humanitarian aid, food, relief and medical supplies to Gaza while keeping the Rafah crossing open for individuals and those injured in the violent riots along the Gaza-Israel border.
Despite the fact that the violent riots have been openly encouraged by Hamas, the IDF offered humanitarian aid to Gaza this week. Hamas, however, rejected the assistance and returned two trucks carrying medical supplies to the Kerem Shalom crossing.