Widespread condemnation over Morocco-Israel normalization deal

2020-12-12 16:56:32
Widespread condemnation over Morocco-Israel normalization deal

Muslim scholar groups and activists have condemned a move by Morocco to agree to normalize its relations with the Israeli regime, as the US-brokered agreement continues to draw condemnations from around the world.

The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) said in a statement that the normalization agreement “contradicts with the Moroccan people’s support for the Palestinian people,” Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.

The Qatar-based group added that the Israeli regime still “occupies our al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem [al-Quds], our blessed lands [in Palestine], and the Golan Heights of Syria, and still looks to swallow more.”

Outgoing US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that Morocco had reached an agreement with Israel on the normalization of relations, becoming the fourth Arab country – after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Sudan – to reach such a deal with the Zionist regime since August.

Morocco’s royal court confirmed the news and said that the US will open a consulate in the Western Sahara territory in line with the agreement.

Trump used Morocco's Western Sahara claim as a bargaining chip in talks with Morocco to secure the deal, and agreed to recognize Rabat's sovereignty over the territory.

Morocco annexed the vast Western Sahara region, a former Spanish colony, in 1975 and has since been in conflict with the Algeria-backed Polisario Front, a movement that seeks to establish an independent state in the territory and end Morocco’s presence there.

Morocco is currently in control of 80 percent of the region, including its phosphate deposits and fishing waters.

The Polisario denounced Washington’s recognition of Rabat's claim, saying it was a violation of international law and added that its struggle for autonomy "will continue.”

“The stance… is a blatant violation of the United Nations charter and the resolutions of international legitimacy,” the group said.

Seperately, Moroccan and Arab activists took to Twitter on Friday to reject the agreement and to reiterate their support for the Palestinian people.

Using the hashtag “Moroccans Against Normalization”, the activists censured the deal as a loss for Sahrawis — the inhabitants of Western Sahara — and Palestinians alike.

Palestinian resistance movements also vented their outrage over the US-brokered deal, with Hazem Qassem, spokesman for the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, saying, “This is a sin and it doesn’t serve the Palestinian people. The Israeli occupation uses every new normalization to increase its aggression against the Palestinian people and increase its settlement expansion.”

Hanan Ashrawi, an outgoing member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), censured the deal as “sinister and ugly" and underlined in a tweet that the agreement was meant to "extract concessions and benefits for Israel" before Trump leaves office.

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