Tens of thousands of Moroccans in pro-Palestinian demo

AFP , Sunday 26 Nov 2023

Tens of thousands of Moroccans demonstrated Sunday in the country's commercial capital Casablanca, calling for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the suspension of diplomatic ties with Israel.

Moroccan women
Moroccan women hold placards and chant slogans during a protest in solidarity wih the Palestinian people in the Israeli occupied West bank and the Gaza Strip in Casablanca on Nov, 2023. AFP

The fledgling rapprochement between the North African country and Israel had made steady progress since 2020 when the two governments normalised relations, but that has been thrown into reverse by the war in the Palestinian territory.

Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain all established diplomatic ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords in 2020, which were negotiated under the administration of former US president Donald Trump.

An AFP journalist reported Sunday that demonstrators in Casablanca waved Palestinian flags and demanded that Rabat suspend ties with Israel.

"It is not a truce that we need, but a permanent ceasefire" to give a chance "for peace, for the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem," socialist MP Nabila Mounib told AFP on Sunday.

She said she hoped to see "the return of all those exiled in the Palestinian diaspora" and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations had declined in recent years in Morocco, but have surged since the Israeli war on Gaza broke out.

Moroccan cardiologist Safae Abderazzak told AFP she was demonstrating "to condemn the Israeli aggression against our Palestinian brothers and against our fellow doctors who are being tortured and martyred in Gaza".

A four-day truce came into effect on Friday in Gaza, seven weeks after the outbreak of the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7.

Hamas-led offensive into southern Israel killed 1,200 people,according to Israeli officials, another 240 people were taken as captives.

Since then, Israel began bombarding the densely populated Gaza Strip. The Palestinian health ministry says that nearly 15,000 people have been killed, two-thirds of them children and women.

As part of the truce, 39 Israelis and 19 foreign and dual-national captives have been released since Friday by Hamas, in exchange for the liberation of 117 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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