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Morocco: Islamists warn of 'Zionist penetration' of their country

Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane delivers a speech during his election campaign ahead of the General elections in Morocco, on September 25, 2016 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah stadium in Rabat, Morocco. ( Jalal Morchidi - Anadolu Agency )
Former Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane in Morocco, on 25 September 2016 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]

The Justice and Development Party (JDP) in Morocco has warned of the danger of the "Zionist penetration" of the country and reaffirmed its principled position in supporting the just cause of the Palestinian people, rejecting the Israeli occupation and condemning the crimes committed by the occupation state against the Palestinian people and the holy places.

A statement issued by the party after a regular meeting of the General Secretariat today, headed by Secretary-General Abdelilah Benkirane, called upon the Moroccan authorities not to restrict popular expressions of support for the Palestinian cause; calls for the end of normalisation with Israel, and the rejection of its occupation of Palestine.

Israel, Morocco sign defence deal amid normalised ties - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Israel, Morocco sign defence deal amid normalised ties – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

At the same time, the party asserted its unconditional support for Morocco's efforts to defend its territorial integrity. It will participate actively in efforts to deal with the critical external challenges facing the kingdom.

The Youth Wing of the JDP took the opportunity to launch an appeal for participation in the popular stand organised by the National Action Group for Palestine on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The slogan used was "With the resistance… against normalisation with the Zionists".

The party's youth also called on members, supporters and all young Moroccans to back its firm and established positions in support of the Palestinian cause as a national issue. The steadfastness of the valiant Palestinian resistance should be applauded, they added. A general call was issued to all Moroccan citizens, organisations and institutions to support the Palestinian cause and resistance against the Israel occupation.

READ: Morocco rights activists protest against normalisation with Israel

On Monday, however, the Moroccan security forces blocked a protest stop against normalisation with Israel in the capital, Rabat. The protest was scheduled to take place on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has made a two-day visit to Morocco. It was the first ever such visit by a serving Israeli defence minister. While Gantz was in Morocco it was announced that two agreements had been signed for military cooperation, despite criticism of the visit, especially on social media.

At the end of last year, Israel and Morocco announced the resumption of diplomatic relations which had been cut in 2002. The Israeli Embassy was opened by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in Rabat in August. The Moroccan liaison office in Tel Aviv was also reopened, and direct flights between the two countries were launched.

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