Morocco: Casablanca rallies against Israeli ties

Israeli ties

Casablanca's May 19th procession reaches its terminus in Arab League Park, near the US Consulate General / Rory Fleming-Stewart


A coalition of once-rival political groups could spell trouble for Morocco’s ruling elite, as the public makes their contempt for the country’s Israeli ties known. Staging rallies across the country, the pro-Palestine movement has brought together all points of Morocco’s political spectrum, with a coalition of leftists and Islamists spearheading the most recent pro-Palestine march, in Casablanca.

Thousands took to the streets of Casablanca on May 19th in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and to protest Morocco’s Israeli ties.

Chants of “long-live Palestine,” and “no to normalisation” boomed over makeshift, mobile hi-fis, as the procession covered the 2 km from Casablanca’s Victory Square to the US Consulate General.

From there, a series of speakers took to a packed, truck-bed podium to condemn Israel and its allies for the ongoing onslaught in Gaza.

Speakers also commended the wave of protests sweeping university campuses around the world, with particular emphasis on the efforts of those in the US.

Before the demo’s closing speech, Maghrebi witnessed the burning of an Israeli flag at the head of the column, while the crowd erupted in applause.

READ: Morocco: No abstinence of support for Gaza during Ramadan

The North African kingdom established diplomatic ties with Israel in late 2020 under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, along with the UAE and Bahrain, gaining US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara.

Since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, on October 7th, 2023, mass demonstrations have been held in Morocco calling for the annulment of the normalization accord.

“I cannot remain indifferent and silent in the face of what is happening to the Palestinians who are being killed on a daily basis,” demonstrator Zahra Bensoukar, 43, told AFP.

Idriss Amer, 48, said he was protesting “in solidarity with the Palestinian people, against the Zionist massacre in Gaza and against normalisation” of Israeli ties.

READ: Morocco: Pro-Palestinian activist handed 5 year jail sentence

Rabat has officially denounced what it said were “flagrant violations of the provisions of international law” by Israel in its war in Gaza but has failed to indicate that it will sever ties.

The Gaza war began on October 7th when Hamas militants stormed Israeli kibbutzim near the Palestinian enclave, killing 1,163, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli social security data.

Israel’s retaliatory blockade, bombardment, and invasion of the enclave has killed at least 35,456 people, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry’s estimates.

Maghrebi / AFP


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