Egypt opens Gaza border for month of Ramadan

A woman hands an item to a passenger standing in the window of a bus waiting to cross into Egypt from the Rafah border. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2018

Egypt opens Gaza border for month of Ramadan

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has made a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month, allowing Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.
The decision to keep the crossing open was taken “to alleviate the suffering” of residents in the Palestinian enclave, El-Sisi said on Facebook late Thursday.
The Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, but Egypt has largely sealed it in recent years, citing security threats.
It is usually open a few dozen days a year and such an extended period is rare.
El-Sisi’s announcement comes after some 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border earlier this week, with the victims described by Egypt’s foreign ministry as “martyrs.”
A total of 114 Gazans have been killed in border protests and clashes since March 30, in the run-up to the controversial opening Monday of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Egypt has relations with both Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, giving Cairo an instrumental role in easing tensions between the two sides and alleviating the pressure on the enclave’s two million residents.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya paid a brief visit on Sunday to Egypt, where he met with the director of the country’s intelligence services Abbas Kamel.


Germany warns dual nationals off Iran travel after arrest

Updated 23 November 2020

Germany warns dual nationals off Iran travel after arrest

BERLIN: Germany has warned citizens who also hold Iranian nationality against travelling to Iran after a dual national was arrested in October.
The foreign ministry did not name the detained citizen, but she has been identified as Nahid Taghavi by her daughter Mariam Claren.
"There have been several arrests of German-Iranian dual nationals in the past -- including most recently in October 2020, often without comprehensible reasons," said the German foreign ministry in an online update of its travel warning.
"Further detentions of people who also possess Iranian citizenship cannot be ruled out," it added, stressing therefore that "unnecessary travel by people who are also Iranian nationals is strongly discouraged".

 


Taghavi is a 66-year-old architect, who is reportedly being held in solitary detention in Iran.
Her daughter Claren said she has had no access to her since October 15, a day before she was believed to have been arrested.
Human rights group IGFM said Taghavi should be viewed as a political prisoner because she has for years been fighting for human rights in Iran, in particular for women's rights and freedom of expression.