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Moroccans demand revocation of their country's normalisation of ties with Israel

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FADEL SENNA/AFP or licensors


Several rallies took place on Sunday across Morocco in support of Palestinians bombed by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip, with demonstrators also denouncing the recent normalisation of relations between their country and the Jewish state.

In Rabat, nearly a thousand demonstrators gathered in the city centre to condemn "the violence perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians" and the restoration of diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, an AFP journalist noted.

Brandishing Palestinian flags, the demonstrators chanted: "Free Palestine, Zionists get out" or "The people want the fall of normalisation". Flags of the Hebrew state were also burned.

The same echoes were heard in several Moroccan cities, including the economic capital Casablanca and the tourist capital Marrakech, where demonstrators called for "the liberation of Palestine" and "the abolition of normalisation", according to videos posted live on social networks.

Morocco was the fourth Arab country to announce in 2020 the normalisation of its relations with Israel, spurred by the administration of former US president Donald Trump.

Considered a "national cause" in the kingdom, the Palestinian cause mobilises civil society and some far-left political parties and Islamists opposed to this normalisation.

The agreement is however strategic since it is linked to an American recognition of Moroccan "sovereignty" over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

At least 192 people, including 58 children, have died since Monday in the Gaza Strip, bombed by the Israeli army in response to a barrage of rockets from Hamas -- in power in the Palestinian enclave -- on the Jewish state, fired in "solidarity" with the hundreds of Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in East Jerusalem.

Morocco sent humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Territories on Saturday

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday that King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, has given instructions to send emergency humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is within this framework that a second flight was operated. The shipment consisted of 20 tonnes of basic foodstuffs, emergency medicines and blankets.

In Amman, the aid will be received by the Palestinian ambassador in Jordan in the presence of the ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco and the representative of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization for Relief & Development (JHCO). Nasser Bourita's department said that an equivalent shipment of aid will also be flown on two other planes to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, before being transported to the Gaza Strip.

The first humanitarian aid sent by Morocco consisted of 30 tonnes of basic foodstuffs, 10 tonnes of emergency medicines and blankets. This royal decision is part of the Kingdom's support to the Palestinian cause and its solidarity with the Palestinian people, it said.