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Morocco slammed for allowing Israelis to join judo tournament

Participants take part in a Judo Competition [West Point - The U.S. Military Academy/Flickr]

Morocco has been accused of normalizing relations with Israel after a video appeared on social media showing the Israeli flag raised as the Israeli national anthem airs during a judo competition.

Two Israeli women won gold and bronze during competitions in Agadir leading to them being honoured on the podium.

At the start of the match, the Moroccan judoist refused to shake hands with her Israeli opponent.

The Moroccan Organisation for Ummah Affairs (Norsa) condemned authorities for allowing Israelis to take part in the competition saying they "refuse normalisation with the Israelis in all its forms".

"We will remain steadfast in our steadfastness in supporting Palestine and defending the sanctities of the holy land," it said.

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Mohammed Al-Ghafari, the general coordinator of the Moroccan Coalition for Palestine, denounced the incident and described it as "an insult to the Moroccan people who reject normalisation".

Al-Ghafri blamed the Moroccan government for this "insult".

In response, the Mayor of Agadir, Saleh Maluki, denied any knowledge of the participation of Israeli athletes in the tournament.

"My position on Israel and normalisation with it are well known and have been repeatedly confirmed," he said.

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