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Thousands in Morocco protest ties with 'genocidal' Israel

By AFP

February 11, 2024 08:00 PM


Thousands of Moroccans on Sunday again took to the streets of their capital to call for an end to their country's ties with Israel, which they denounced for "genocide" in Gaza.

In late 2020, Morocco established diplomatic ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords brokered by the United States which saw similar moves by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

As part of the deal, Rabat received Washington's recognition of its claim to sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Since the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began on October 7, several large-scale demonstrations in the North African kingdom have called for the abrogation of the normalisation deal.

"Normalisation is treason," and "Stop the massacre," read banners protesters carried in front of Morocco's parliament in the centre of Rabat.

AFP journalists estimated more than 10,000 people joined the rally, some of them carrying an immense Palestinian flag.

The crowd size matched that of a similar November protest in Morocco's commercial capital Casablanca.

"We see 24 hours a day bombardments, children killed, nearly 30,000 dead and nothing stops it. The genocide continues," said Abdelhakim Ziani, 25, a medical student who joined the rally and wants an end to ties between Morocco and Israel.

"We can't continue selling and buying from these genocidal people," he said.

The demonstration was organised by leftist parties and Islamist movements.

Morocco has officially denounced what it said was "flagrant violations of the provisions of international law" by Israel in its war against Hamas, but has not given any indication that normalisation with Israel would be undone.

The unprecedented October 7 attack by militants of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas triggered the war. Their attack resulted in the deaths in Israel of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official figures.

Vowing to eliminate Hamas, Israel has responded with a relentless bombardment and ground offensive in Gaza that the Hamas-ruled territory's health ministry says has killed at least 28,176 people, mostly women and children.

Militants also seized 250 hostages, 132 of whom are still in Gaza, although 29 are presumed dead, Israel has said.


AFP


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