WASHINGTON (JTA) — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi said he would open the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt for the month of Ramadan, citing the “burdens of the brothers” in the Strip, an apparent reference to the deadly protests on the Gaza-Israel border.
Sisi said on his Twitter account late Thursday that he sought to “alleviate the burdens of the brothers in the Gaza Strip.”
It would be the longest period the crossing has been open since at least 2013. Egypt under Sisi generally has joined Israel in seeking to hem in Gaza, which is controlled by the Hamas terrorist group, and which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Sisi reviles. Sisi also is trying to control terrorist activity in the Sinai peninsula.
Support for the Palestinians in the Arab world has been galvanized by the weekly protests, which have seen more than 100 Palestinians killed by Israeli live fire, and by the opening on May 14 of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and introspection, began this week.