Morocco government declines anti-normalisation with Israel petition signed by over 10,000
On Wednesday, 10 January, several members of local pro-Palestine groups headed to the headquarters of the Moroccan government in Rabat to hand over a petition signed by 10,200 Moroccan citizens since the start of the Gaza war.
Upon their arrival, the activists were dismayed to find a heavy security presence refusing them entry into the building.
"We previously submitted a meeting request and were told we could return to submit the petition. However, when we arrived, we encountered heavy security and local authorities preventing our entry," Abdel-Kader Al-Aalami, a member of the petition organising committee, told The New Arab.
In response, Mustapha Baitass, the government's spokesperson and deputy minister in charge of parliamentary relations, said the activists simply went to the wrong building and followed the wrong procedure.
"The intended action is to submit this request to the committee at the ministry responsible for parliamentary relations. However, I have not received a message specifying a day for submitting the request. If this had occurred, we would have responded to it," said Baitass, responding to journalists' questions in Wednesday's government's weekly press conference.
The minister did not mention the petition's cause or the organisers behind it, as since the start of the Gaza war, Rabat has not spoken publicly on its ties with Israel.
Also, Rabat and Tel Aviv skipped, for the first time, the celebrations of their normalisation anniversary last year. 22 December marked the third anniversary of the normalisation deal Israel and Morocco signed under the US auspices in 2020.
A diplomatic source told TNA that ties between Moroccan and Israel "are most likely" frozen since Israeli officials left Rabat last October after the eruption of broader anti-Israe rallies in the kingdom.
The source says taking this step would be mainly because of the rising opposition to the normalisation in the country and Rabat's' lack of condemnation of Hamas, a step Tel Aviv has reportedly pushed for.