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    Palestinian policemen loyal to Hamas stand guard as fuel tankers enter Gaza through the Rafah border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip June 21, 2017.

    Egypt Opens Gaza Border Crossing for Muslims During Ramadan

    © REUTERS / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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    Israeli-Palestinian Tensions Escalate Amid Gaza Violence (126)
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    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims observe the holy fast. They believe that during this month, the heavens open up and Allah can hear all their prayers.

    On Friday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said that Gaza Strip’s only means to the outside world will remain open for the whole month of Ramadan, allowing Palestinians to cross.

    "In order to alleviate the burden of our brothers in the Gaza Strip, I have instructed the relevant authorities to open the Rafah border gate throughout Ramadan,” al-Sisi said on his Facebook page.

    The Gaza Strip has seven border crossings connecting it to the outside world. However, six of those are controlled by Israel since 2007.

    The seventh, the Rafah border crossing, is controlled by Egypt and is mostly sealed due to security threats.

    Hundreds of Palestinians have died since the start of a six-week campaign on March 30, 2018.  The protests were launched in the Gaza Strip, called the "Great March of Return" by its Palestinian organizers. The protests demand that Palestinian refugees and their descendants be allowed to return to what is now Israel.

    They were also protesting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the moving of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    During Ramadan people exercise abstinence as they try to spiritually detoxify, which is why they have to refrain from sexual relationships during the time of fasting. Furthermore, they are not allowed smoke or drink between sunrise and sunset. Fasting is an obligatory pillar for adult Muslims.

    On Wednesday, millions of Muslims marked the beginning of Ramadan, which is due to end on June 14. 

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    Israeli-Palestinian Tensions Escalate Amid Gaza Violence (126)

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    protests, crossing, Ramadan, border, Palestinians, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Gaza Strip
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