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Moroccans stage rallies on first anniversary of US-brokered normalization with Israel

Moroccans participate in a rally as they protest against the Israel-Morocco normalization agreement on the first anniversary of the US-sponsored deal in the capital Rabat on December 22, 2021. (Photo via Twitter)

Hundreds of Moroccans have staged demonstrations to express their resentment and reiterate support for the Palestinian cause on the first anniversary of the US-sponsored normalization of diplomatic relations between the North African country and Israel.

People from all walks of life participated in rallies across the country on Wednesday night, as they heeded a call by the "Moroccan Front in Support of Palestine and Against Normalization," which reportedly includes 15 political, union and human rights organizations that have voiced solidarity with Palestine and denounced Morocco’s normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime.

The demonstrators chanted slogans in condemnation of the normalization, and demanded the reversal of the agreement, which they described as “ominous.”

The protesters shouted “Morocco is my free land and Zionists must leave,” “Palestine is resisting while regimes are normalizing”, “We love Palestine with all our hearts,” and “No to normalization.”

Moroccan security forces then intervened to disperse the crowds, especially in the capital Rabat and the western port city of Casablanca.

“Zionist occupiers of Palestine seek to occupy Morocco as well, and sabotage it economically, politically and socially,” Abdel Samad Fathi, a protester, said.

Fathi underscored that the “Moroccan Front in Support of Palestine and Against Normalization” resolutely opposes normalization of relations with Israel, and calls on all Moroccans to reject it.

Israel and Morocco agreed on December 10, 2020 to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of former US President Donald Trump’s administration, making the North African country the fourth Arab state last year to strike a normalization deal with the regime. The others were the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Former Trump sealed the agreement in a phone call with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. As part of the agreement, the US president agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara region, which has been at the center of a dispute with neighboring Algeria.

Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco in August, citing "hostile actions." 

The Algerian Foreign Ministry later rejected Trump’s stance, saying the US decision “has no legal effect because it contradicts UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara.”

The Algeria-backed and pro-independence Polisario Front has also rejected “in the strongest terms” Trump’s stance on the disputed Western Sahara Desert region, stating that the former US president attempted to give Morocco the region “which does not belong to it.”

The agreement with Israel also drew condemnation from the Palestinians.

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