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Algeria lawmakers seek to criminalise normalisation with Israel

Protestors wave the Palestinian flag and Algerian flag in the West Bank city on 29 December 2017 [MUSA AL SHAER/AFP/Getty Images]
Protestors wave the Palestinian flag and Algerian flag in the West Bank city on 29 December 2017 [MUSA AL SHAER/AFP/Getty Images]

Algerian lawmakers, on Tuesday, submitted a Bill criminalising normalisation with Israel, including articles prohibiting travel or any direct or indirect contact with Tel Aviv, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Youssef Ajesa, a lawmaker from the Movement of Society for Peace, told Anadolu Agency that he "lodged on behalf of his party's group of deputies (65 out of 462) the Bill to the Parliament."

The Movement of Society for Peace is an Islamic party that forms the largest opposition bloc in the Algerian Parliament. The party's leadership, however, has constantly confirmed its support for the country's foreign policy.

Ajesa said "his parliamentary bloc tried to include other groups to contribute to the Bill, but it did not receive a response, so I took the initiative to present it in its name."

The Bill includes seven articles that aim to "criminalise normalisation with the Zionist entity (Israel)" as well as forbidding any contacts with Israel or travelling to and from Israel.

A simple majority (50+1) of the first chamber of Parliament is required to approve the Bill to be referred to the second chamber for a final approval.

Algeria does not have any diplomatic or commercial relations with Israel, a position that enjoys broad political and popular support.

The authorities affirm, at all levels, that they refuse to establish relations with Israel before ending its decades-long occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital.

This comes a week after the Iraqi Council of Representatives approved, in the first reading, a draft bill banning normalisation of ties with Israel. If passed, it will make Iraq the first Arab state to formally criminalise normalisation with the occupation state.

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