EGYPT; Sisi pardons over 330 prisoners

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt, said Wednesday the violence along the Israel-Gaza border was prompted by the relocation of the USA embassy to Jerusalem.

"We have said that this issue would have negative ramifications on Arab and Islamic public opinion, leading to disenchantment, instability and repercussions on the Palestinian cause", El-Sisi, who voiced concerns over relocating the USA embassy to Jerusalem in a phone call with Trump last December, said at the National Youth Conference held in Cairo on Wednesday.

Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinians on Monday who protested on the Gaza border as the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, moving its diplomatic mission in Israel to the contested holy city from Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian casualties in Gaza was the worst in years. "I call upon Israel to avoid excessive shooting and to understand that the actions of the Palestinians are legitimate", he said.

The president said that Cairo is doing all it can to improve the situation for the Palestinians.

The Egyptian authorities have initially opened the crossing in both directions from Saturday to Tuesday, but they later made a decision to keep the crossing open until-further-notice cited humanitarian concerns of two million Palestinians stranded in the seaside enclave which has been under Israeli tight blockade since Hamas movement's violent takeover of the territory in 2007.

"We can not do more than this", the president said, adding that Egypt makes statements that help resolve the situation, not complicate matters.

Egyptians have already received many Palestinians who were injured by Israeli fire during anti-Israel clashes along the Gaza-Israel borders. He said he had invited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to visit Cairo for more talks on the issue.

Egypt fears the project will reduce waters that run to its fields and reservoirs from the Nile river in Ethiopia's highlands and via Sudan.



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