Algerian lawmakers seek to criminalize normalization with Israel

2021-01-09 18:08:50
Algerian lawmakers seek to criminalize normalization with Israel

Dozens of Algerian legislators have proposed a bill to criminalize the promotion of normalization with Israel, after neighboring Morocco agreed to resume its diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime in a deal brokered by the United States last December.

Youcef Adjissa, a member of the Movement for the Society of Peace – Algeria’s largest Islamic party, submitted the bill on the behalf of 50 lawmakers to the Presidency of the National People’s Assembly (parliament) on Thursday, Palestinian Arabic-language Shehab news agency reported.

The bill reportedly comes in seven articles, the first of which states “it aims to criminalize normalization with the Zionist entity,” referring to Israel.

It adds, “It is forbidden to communicate, establish any relationships, or open representative offices of any kind and at any level with the Zionist entity, either directly or indirectly.”

Another article stipulates that “it is not allowed to travel to and from the Zionist entity, and it is also forbidden to enter or receive citizenship of the Zionist entity in Algeria or at the headquarters of its diplomatic missions.”

The bill must have a vote of two-thirds of members of the parliament to become law.

Israel and Morocco agreed on December 10 to normalize relations in a deal brokered with the help of the outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump, making the North African country the fourth Arab state last year to strike a deal aimed at establishment of relations with the regime. The others were the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Trump sealed the agreement in a phone call with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI. As part of the agreement, the US president agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara region.

The Algerian Foreign Ministry later rejected Trump's stance, saying the US decision “has no legal effect because it contradicts UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara.”

“The proclamation would undermine the de-escalation efforts made at all levels in order to pave the way for launching a real political process,” the ministry said in a statement.

Palestinians have condemned the new normalization deal between Israel and Morocco, saying it will weaken the Palestinian cause.

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