Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has announced the opening of the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip and has said that he will keep it open through the month of Ramadan, which ends June 14.
This marks the longest period of time that the border will have been open since 2013.
President el-Sisi’s decision comes only days after dozens were killed and thousands injured by Israeli forces Monday during the opening ceremony of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
Ever since Israel imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip and took control of the Erez crossing more than a decade ago, the Rafah border crossing has been the only way out of the embattled territory for the 1.9 million Palestinians living there.
Unfortunately, since el-Sisi came to power Egypt has largely kept the crossing closed.
It was last opened in February of this year, but only temporarily, to allow approximately 160 Palestinians to return to Gaza after having been stranded in the Cairo airport for nearly two weeks.
Prior to that, the border was opened in November 2017 as part of a unity agreement between the rival Palestinian factions of Fatah and Hamas.
In total, the crossing was open for just 36 days throughout the whole of last year.