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Morocco: protest against visit of Israeli army chief

July 19, 2022 at 10:19 am

People gather to stage a demonstration in support of Palestinians and to protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip, on May 15, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco. [Jalal Morchidi – Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of human rights activists demonstrated in front of the Moroccan parliament building in the capital Rabat on Monday in protest at the visit of the Chief of Staff of the Israeli occupation army, Aviv Kochavi. This is the first public visit of its kind and will last three days.

The protest was called by the popular National Action Group for Palestine, which opposes normalisation between Morocco and the occupation state. Demonstrators chanted slogans condemning the visit and normalisation.

Kochavi arrived in Morocco as part of the framework to strengthen military and security cooperation between Tel Aviv and Rabat, which started to take shape in April 2020. He is expected to meet with senior officials in the military establishment in Morocco.

According to the head of the Moroccan Observatory against Normalisation, Ahmed Wehman, the protest represented “condemnation of the visit of the war criminal,” who, as he put it, “shed the blood of thousands of Lebanese and Arab Palestinians.”

He told Anadolu news agency, “His [Kochavi’s] place is in court so that justice can have its say with him, and he will be punished for what he has committed with his hands, which are stained with the blood of innocents.”

Israel and Morocco signed a security memorandum of understanding at the end of November last year during the visit of Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to Rabat. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed in December 2020 after a break of twenty years. Morocco froze relations following the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in 2000.

The government in Morocco is the fourth Arab regime to normalise relations with Israel since 2020, after the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. Egypt and Jordan each signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

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