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-Fattah al-Sisi decided on Thursday to keep Rafah Crossing between Egypt and Gaza in Palestine open during Ramadan, Xinhua news agency reported.
Egyptian authorities opened the border crossing from Saturday to Tuesday but then made a decision to keep it open until further notice citing humanitarian concerns for two million Palestinians stranded in Gaza, which has been under Israeli blockade since Hamas took control in 2007.
Palestinian authorities thanked Egypt for continuously opening the crossing in a statement issued February 21, stressing that the decision represents the Egyptian government's keenness to ease the Palestinian people's suffering.
At least 114 Gazans have been killed in border protests and clashes since March 30, prior to the controversial opening Monday of the United States embassy in Jerusalem after Washington recognised the disputed city as capital of Israel.
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.
Rafah is the main exit for the 1.9 million Palestinians in the Strip to the outside world since Israel imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the besieged territory more than a decade ago.
At an Israeli checkpoint early Friday, Palestinians were crossing from the West Bank town of Bethlehem to the first weekly prayers of Ramadan at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound.