Moroccans Protest Against Deal With Israel ‘Imposed From Above’

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Protesters on Tuesday gathered in Casablanca to protest their country’s normalization with Israel a day after Moroccan authorities (on Monday) dispersed protesters outside the parliament building in capital Rabat.

Activists say decision to curb demonstration aimed at showing solidarity with Palestinians shows that deal with Israel is being imposed from above.

The first Israeli commercial flight to Morocco landed in Rabat on Tusaday December 22. A US-Israeli delegation was aboard the flight from Tel Aviv.

Morocco on Thursday announced a “resumption of relations” with Israel, shortly after US President Donald Trump tweeted that Rabat and the Jewish state had “agreed to full diplomatic relations.”

The royal palace in Rabat said in a statement that King Mohammed VI had promised Trump he would facilitate direct flights to transport Jews of Moroccan origin and Israeli tourists to and from Morocco and reopen the liaison offices. The announcement was cheered by political parties and provoked despair among Islamist groups.

Israel and Morocco established low-level diplomatic relations during the 1990s following a thawing of ties between Israel and the Palestinians. Those contacts, however, were suspended in 2002 in response to the Second Intifada. Since then, however, the relationship has continued informally, with tens of thousands of Israelis traveling to Morocco every year.

Morocco’s announcement makes it the fourth Arab country this year to unveil plans to normalize ties with Israel through a US-brokered deal, following the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.