Morocco's 'Red Prince' condemns Israel's assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh
Moroccan prince Hicham has condemned the killing of veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces, in the first statement from a Moroccan official regarding the death of the renowned reporter.
"The Israeli occupation forces assassinated the journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a voice who defended the Palestinian right with courage, but with high professionalism," said the Moroccan Prince on Wednesday in a statement he posted on his official social media accounts.
The Moroccan prince, who dedicated his academic career to studying the Palestinian cause, said that the crime of silencing Abu Akleh, an icon of the Arab press, "will not obscure the reality of the occupation, instead, it will reveal more of its abhorrent face".
Known as "the Moroccan Red Prince" for his left-leaning positions, Prince Hicham left Morocco in 2002, following mounting tensions between him and the palace, particularly due to his public calls for a constitutional monarchy in Morocco.
In 2018, Prince Hicham, who prefers to go with Hicham Alaoui, said he sent a request to sever ties with the monarchy, but it has not been answered yet.
Meanwhile, Saad Eddin El Otmani, Morocco's former prime minister, has also joined the voices condemning the killing of the Palestinian journalist, saying that her assassination mirrors "the nature of the occupation, which fears the word and the truth, as well as the resistance and the uprising."
El Otmani's statements, however, also attracted criticism, considering his key role in Rabat's normalisation with Tel Aviv back in 2020. He was at the time Morocco's prime minister and the head of the Islamist party justice and development (PJD).
Since joining the opposition, PJD has distanced itself from the normalisation deal, labelling it as a "mistake."
The Moroccan government has yet to react to the killing of Abu Akleh.
The fifty-one-year-old Palestinian journalist was reporting for the Qatari channel Al Jazeera about an Israeli raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank when she was shot in the head, despite wearing a vest and a helmet that identified her as press.
Her death was mourned all over the world, including in Rabat where Moroccan journalists headed to the Palestinian embassy to offer condolences.
Shireen Abu Akleh's killing brings the number of journalists killed by the Israeli military to 55 over the past 20 years, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. Countless others have been wounded.