Egypt’s political digest Oct. 19: Egypt opens Rafah crossing in both directions for 4 days
Palestinians wait for relatives to return to Gaza after Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing on Saturday for two days for humanitarian cases, in the southern Gaza Strip September 4, 2016. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem


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Egypt opens Rafah crossing in both directions for 4 days

The Egyptian authorities on Wednesday opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip in both directions to permit the crossing of humanitarian cases, Youm7 reported.

The crossing would remain open for four days, sources at the crossing told Youm7.

The crossing was also opened on Saturday for two consecutive days to allow passage for humanitarian cases and “stranded people.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said in a statement Sunday that 783 Gazans were able to leave the coastal enclave via the crossing since it opened Saturday morning.

Rafah is the only major border crossing into Gaza Strip that does not go through Israel, which also blockades the territory.

It was closed after Islamist militants in Sinai killed 33 security personnel in October 2013.


Egypt’s court revokes death sentences against 15 brotherhood members

The Court of Cassation annulled on Wednesday death sentences of a total of 15 convicts, allegedly belong to the banned group of the Muslim Brotherhood, over charges of attempting to storm Giza’s Kerdasa police station in period July 3-5, 2013 after the ouster of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, Youm7 reported on Wednesday.


The court accepted the legal challenges filed by the convicts on Wednesday, ruled that a re-trial should be held before a different judicial penal. However, the court did not announce the legal grounds on which it accepted the challenges.

On April 20, 2015, a Cairo criminal court handed down death sentences against 15 defendants, who were present during the trial, and 13 others in absentia; a minor was sentenced to ten years in jail.Court, militants, Muslim, Brotherhood, security, official, quash, retrials, Reuters, rioting, murder,


Sisi forms supreme investment council to boost Egypt’s economy

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi on Tuesday issued a presidential decree to establish the Supreme Investment Council in a bid to attract investment needed to restore growth since the 2011 uprising, Youm7 reported.

The council will be tasked with following up on the implementation of investment plans, development of major economic projects and projects that partner with the private sector, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid said.

According to the decree, the council is chaired by Sisi with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer among its members.The decisions of the new council are binding on all ministries and public bodies.

Its board will meet every two months and the decisions will be made by voting with a majority.


FM, UN commissioner talk refugees and illegal migration issues

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi and discussed ways to develop a more humane and coordinated approach to address large movements of refugees and migrants, Youm7 reported.

The two sides also discussed During the meeting, Shoukry affirmed Egypt’s keenness on enhancing cooperation and consultation with all parties to discuss the rising numbers of refugees and challenges imposed on transit and receiving countries, foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement Wednesday.

The minister highlighted Egypt’s efforts to accommodate the refugees, especially those coming from Syria and help them integrate into society, Abu Zeid added.

Egypt has intervened in a number of migration attempts by hundreds of asylum seekers from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly from Egypt Syria, Iraq and Libya, via the Mediterranean Sea to Italy or Greece as gates for other European countries.

Up to 4,500 Egyptians have illegally migrated to Europe in 2015, Head of the International Organization for Migration IOM Egypt office Amr Taha was quoted by Youm7 Monday.

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