Thousands in Morocco protest ties with 'genocidal' Israel
In late 2020, Morocco established diplomatic ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords brokered by the United States which saw similar moves by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
As part of the deal, Rabat received Washington's recognition of its claim to sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Since Israel's war on Gaza began on October 7, several large-scale demonstrations in the North African kingdom have called for the abrogation of the normalisation deal.
"Normalisation is treason," and "Stop the massacre," read banners protesters carried in front of Morocco's parliament in the centre of Rabat.
AFP journalists estimated more than 10,000 people joined the rally, some of them carrying an immense Palestinian flag.
The crowd size matched that of a similar November protest in Morocco's commercial capital Casablanca.
"We see 24 hours a day bombardments, children killed, nearly 30,000 dead and nothing stops it. The genocide continues," said Abdelhakim Ziani, 25, a medical student who joined the rally and wants an end to ties between Morocco and Israel.
"We can't continue selling and buying from these genocidal people," he said.
The demonstration was organised by leftist parties and Islamist movements.
جزء من مظاهرة الرباط في هذه الأثناء.. pic.twitter.com/9hQykAG4uH— Saida El Kamel (@SaidaElKamel) February 11, 2024
Morocco has officially denounced what it said was "flagrant violations of the provisions of international law" by Israel in its war in Gaza, but has not given any indication that normalisation with Israel would be undone.
Israel's bombardment of the besieged Palestinian enclave has killed over 28,100 people since October 7, mostly women and children, and has destroyed much of the territory. It started the day Hamas carried out a surprise attack in southern Israel, killing about 1,160 people, according to Israeli figures.
Hamas also seized 250 hostages, 132 of whom are still in Gaza, although 31 are presumed dead, Israel has said.
The group says its attack came after decades of Israeli blockade of Gaza and aggression against the Palestinians.