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Israel: War in Gaza harms normalisation with Morocco, says security institute

June 20, 2024 at 12:47 pm

Israeli and Moroccan flags are pictured during an official ceremony in Israel’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tel Aviv, on 13 September, 2022 [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has reported that while the main aspects of Israeli-Moroccan relations, including bilateral trade and security links, have not yet been affected by the war against the Palestinians in Gaza, they have been greatly damaged in other aspects, most notably the normalisation of public diplomatic ties, official visits and tourism.

“This pattern of fluctuating relations during periods of escalation in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is not new,” explained the INSS. “Israel would do well to remember that Morocco’s support for the Palestinians may extend beyond lip service. During the Second Intifada, Morocco went as far as severing relations with Israel due to the conflict’s escalation, and it took nearly twenty years to renew them.”

The report indicated a sharp decline in popular Arab support for normalisation with Israel, down from 31 per cent in 2022 to only 13 per cent. This decline is attributed to the Arab world’s view, including Morocco’s, of the ongoing war in Gaza.

According to the INSS, 26 per cent of Moroccans describe the events in Gaza as a massacre; 24 per cent describe it as war; 14 per cent describe it as genocide; and another 14 per cent refer to it as mass killing.

Since October, almost weekly protests have been organised in Rabat in support of the Palestinians and calling for the severing of relations between Israel and Morocco. “This trend exacerbates the tension between Morocco’s official policy of maintaining ties with Israel, albeit at a low profile, and the increasing public and political opposition,” added the institute.

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