PM: Morocco rejects normalising ties with Israel

Prime Minister of Morocco Saadeddine Othmani makes a speech during monthly ordinary congress meeting in Rabat, Morocco on 15 May, 2018 [Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency]
Prime Minister of Morocco Saadeddine Othmani makes a speech during monthly ordinary congress meeting in Rabat, Morocco on 15 May, 2018

Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani on Sunday rejected any normalisation of relations with Israel, Reuters reports.

“We refuse any normalisation with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people,” El Otmani told his Islamist PJD party.

The remarks came ahead of a visit to the region by Jared Kushner, a senior adviser and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump, and after the UAE and Israel struck a deal to normalise ties.

Morocco’s official position has been in support of the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state.

Morocco and Israel began low-level ties in 1993 after an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was reached. But Rabat suspended relations with the Jewish state after the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising in 2000.

READ: The UAE’s perfidious normalisation plan with Israel 

(Source / 24.08.2020)

Amnesty: Morocco targets dissidents using notorious Israeli spyware

London (QNN) – The Moroccan government has used the Israeli technology company NSO Group’s notorious spyware to spy on Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, a new investigation by Amnesty International has revealed.

The Award-winning journalist was targeted with notorious Pegasus spyware days after the Israeli tech firm pledged to abide by human rights standards.

Amnesty found that Radi’s phone was subjected to multiple attacks using a sophisticated technique that silently installs NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

Radi – a vocal critic of Morocco’s human rights record who has worked for various international publications exposing links between corporate and political interests, corruption and breaches of human rights – has been systematically targeted by the Moroccan authorities. On 17 March, he was given a suspended four-month prison term for a tweet criticising the unfair trial of a group of activists.

NSO Group Technologies is an Israeli technology firm whose spyware called Pegasus enables the remote surveillance of smartphones. It is based in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.

NSO Group claims it performs rigorous checks to identify human rights issues before selling its products, but these claims lack detail and appear to have been ineffective in numerous instances.

The firm’s Pegasus software has been used to target journalists and activists across the globe – including in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

(Source / 22.06.2020)

Erekat: King of Morocco rejected US projects against Palestine

King Mohammed VI of Morocco [File photo]

King Mohammed VI of Morocco

Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee, Saeb Erekat, praised the Kingdom of Morocco, its King, government and people for the positions they have taken on the Palestinian issue.

Erekat praised the pro-Palestinian moves that Morocco has made recently in light of the challenges facing Palestine, most importantly the Kingdom’s clear rejection of the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and transfer its embassy to Jerusalem in May.

Erekat also praised Morocco’s rejection of the US aid cuts to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), close the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s representative office in Washington and other resolutions that violate international consensus.

The Secretary’s remarks came during his participation in the International “MEDays” Forum – a meeting of high-level dignitaries to discuss Middle East relations – which began in the coastal city of Tangier, Morocco, on 9 November. Erekat conveyed the greetings of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and his appreciation to the Moroccan King, Mohammed VI – who is also Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee – on his courageous efforts to defend the Palestinian cause. Erekat also praised the King’s commitment to the two-state solution and the need to end the Israeli occupation of the territories occupied in 1967, as well as to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

This is a position that reflects the Moroccan people’s consensus, which President Abbas, the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people appreciate and respect, Erekat added.

READ: Israel practices ‘systematic aggression’ against Palestinian rights

Erekat also welcomed the invitation made by the Moroccan King to the Algerian Republic during his speech on the 43rd anniversary of the Green March on 6 November, in which he called on Algeria to work towards reconciliation and eliminate the impediments to relations between the two countries, describing the call as “gracious and courageous”.

Erekat pointed out that Palestine considers the strength of Arab relations and the stability and security of the Arab world to be central to Palestinian national security and a focal point upon which the Palestinian issue is based. He added that the Arab world is now in dire need of eliminating its differences in order to confront national threats, especially with regard to fighting terrorism, extremism and other threats facing the region.

(Source / 10.11.2018)

Morocco field hospital opens in Gaza

Moroccan field hospital opens on 12 June 2018 in the besieged Gaza Strip to help treat Palestinians wounded during the Great March of Return

Moroccan field hospital opens on 12 June 2018 in the besieged Gaza Strip to help treat Palestinians wounded during the Great March of Return

Morocco’s military field hospital opened in the besieged Gaza Strip yesterday.

Medical teams and aid were sent from Morocco and travelled through the Rafah crossing in to the Gaza Strip on Friday.

The convoy included 165 people, including the Moroccan Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed Tazi, doctors and technicians.

Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad and the head of the security forces in the Gaza Strip Tawfiq Abu Naim greeted the team.

The Moroccan ambassador told a news conference that his country had opened an airlift with Egypt, which included 17 planes to transport medical and humanitarian aid including a field hospital for those injured in the Gaza Strip.

Popular Front: ‘Morocco delegation visit to Israel is a stab in the back’

He pointed out that the convoy contains food and medicine and a specialised military medical hospital, including a group of doctors, nurses and technical staff, who will operate it.

Morocco sent the medical team in response to Israel’s violent crackdown on unarmed Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border fence. More than 14,000 Palestinians were injured and nearly 130 were killed when Israeli occupation forces used live round and tear gas to disperse the Great March of Return protesters. Israel tested new weaponry on the protesters and inflicted severe injuries, with many demonstrators seeing their limbs amputated as a result.

(Source / 13.06.2018)

Morocco to send medical team to Gaza

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border during the ninth consecutive week of protests, organised as part of the Great March of Return, on 25 May 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Israeli forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the Gaza and Israel border during the ninth consecutive week of protests, organised as part of the Great March of Return, on 25 May 2018

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI decided yesterday to send a medical team to the besieged Gaza Strip in order to provide medical treatment to the victims of the Great March of Return, following a request by the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh.

Haniyeh’s media office declared in a press statement that Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani had informed the Palestinian official of the King’s decision.

Arrangements will be made with Egypt to ensure the medical team is able to enter the Strip, the statement added.

Without Palestine, the Arabs are not a nation at all

In a telephone call with Othmani on Sunday, Haniyeh called on Morocco “to provide urgent medical assistance to the victims of the Return Marches, especially as the occupation is deliberately inflicting casualties among the Palestinian people to discourage them from participating in the marches.”

More than 116 Palestinians were killed and more than 13,000 were injured during peaceful protests held near the Gaza-Israel border fence. Israel tested new weaponry on the protesters and inflicted severe injuries, with many demonstrators seeing their limbs amputated as a result.

(Source / 29.05.2018)

Morocco PM: Palestine is a national cause

Prime Minister of Morocco Saadeddine Othmani (C) speaks during a session at the Moroccan Assembly in Rabat, Morocco on 19 April, 2017

“The Palestinian cause is one of the priorities of the Moroccan King, government and people,” Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani said yesterday.

Calling on the media to focus its attention on Palestinian and highlight the plight of Palestinians living under occupation, Othmani said: “Palestine is considered a national cause in Morocco.”

“The Moroccan position, whether it’s that of people at home, political parties, the media or officials, is firm: we consider the Palestinian people to be the owners of the land.”

“Moroccans can only be supportive of this people, and they will not change their attitude towards them whatever happens.”

Othmani gave the speech at the Arab Media Workshop on Palestine, organised by the Syndicate of Journalists and the Federation of Publishers in Morocco in cooperation with the Palestine International Media Forum (Tawasul).

Morocco FM: Palestinian cause paid the price of Arab rifts

President of the Moroccan Journalists’ Syndicate, Abdullah Al-Baqali, said: “The Moroccan media has never overlooked Palestine, and Palestine has never been absent from the Moroccans’ consciousness in general, whether we speak about the highest ranks of authority or about parties, civil society organisations or the Moroccan people in general.”

“Recent attempts to normalise media relations do not reflect the Moroccan press body and do not represent a phenomenon, and that it is an isolated attempt that will not change the nature of the Moroccan position, which supports the Palestinian cause.”

Secretary-General of the Palestine International Media and Communication Forum Hesham Al-Qassim said: “Morocco is the capital of Arab love for Palestine.”

(Source / 24.02.2018)

Morocco: 2 shot in Marrakech attack, assailants on the run

Crowds gather at the scene of a shooting which left one Moroccan dead in Marrakech , Morocco on 2 November 2017

Two people were shot last night in a drive-by shooting at a café in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.

Two people on board a TMAX scooter opened fire on the terrace of the café La Crème in the Hivernage district, according to local media reports.

The alleged killers opened fire at approximately 19:45 outside the cafe located which is situated in front of the Marrakech Court of Appeal. Security services were dispatched to the scene and the perimeter was cordoned off.

Twenty-six-year-old medical student Hamza died after being shot in the head, while two others were injured including a young woman who was accompanying the victim. The victims were brought to the University Hospital of Marrakech, the Moroccan Press Agency reported.

Read: Morocco arrests 4 planning city attack

The motive of the shooting is still unknown but it is believed the victim was targeted because his father was a court official and the attack was likely an effort to settle an issue.

In an “embarrassing” blunder by the head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, the shooters were said to have been arrested but the statement was later retracted.

“In direct contact with the leaders, it appears that the search for the perpetrators of the attack is still ongoing and those who were apprehended before have nothing to do with this case,” El Othmani clarified on Twitter a few minutes after announcing that the police had apprehended the criminals.

في اتصال مباشر مع المسؤولين تبين ان البحث لا يزال جاريا عن منفذي الهجوم ومن حقق معهم لحد الساعة لا صلة لهم به،اللهم احفظ بلادنا ءامنا مطمئنا

Many users took to social media to criticise the blunder and the lack of information: “Free advice to the Government leader: offer condolences to the family of the victim and take care of the wounded,” one user wrote.

Conseil gratuit au chef gouvernement : présenter condoléances à la famille de la victime et veiller sur les blessés 

(Source / 03.11.2017)

Moroccan police break up Daesh cell ‘planning attacks’

Protesters from Rif movement clash with security forces during a demonstration against government in Imzouren town near Al Hoceima city of Morocco on June 2, 2017 [Jalal Morchidi / Anadolu Agency]

Moroccan security forces seen in Imzouren town near Al Hoceima, Morocco on June 2, 2017

Moroccan authorities said on Saturday they had dismantled a cell linked to Daesh that was active in eight towns and cities and was planning terrorist operations.

Eleven people were arrested.

Security forces detained the alleged mastermind of the cell in a safe house in Fez, where they found guns and a large quantity of bullets, materials for making suicide belts, nails and electric wires, according to a statement from the interior ministry.

Police also found chemical products that could be used for making explosives, and a “suspicious car”, the statement said. It said one of the suspects was an explosives expert.

Opinion: The end of the Arab nation state

Those arrested were “planning to carry out dangerous terrorist operations targeting sensitive sites, at the instigation of Daesh coordinators”, it said.

Moroccan authorities say they have dismantled dozens of militant cells since 2002, including about 50 with alleged links to Daesh.

(Source / 15.10.2017)

1 in 6 households in Morocco run by women

Women can be seen carrying heavy goods on their backs across the Spanish-Moroccan border

Nearly one in six households in Morocco is headed by a woman, said the High Commission for Planning (HCP) in celebration of National Women’s Day yesterday.

According to data from the Census of Population and Habitat in 2014, around 1.2 million households are currently run by women with the rate being higher in urban areas than in rural areas.

Compared with the data from the previous census conducted in 2004, the rate of female-headed households remained “almost stable”. In 1960 the proportion of female heads of household was at 11.2 per cent with the rate steadily increasingly in the 1980s and 1990s (15.3 per cent in 1982 and 15.4 per cent in 1994) and rising again in the 2000s.

More than half of the women who head their households were widowed whilst 14 per cent were divorced and 20 per cent were married.

Half of the female heads of households were over 54-years-old, compared to one third of their male counterparts, and 65 per cent of the women were mainly illiterate and poorly integrated into the labour market with a participation rate of 30 per cent.

The highest proportion of female-headed households higher than the national average was found in the Guelmim-Oued Noun region of Morocco accounting for 18.7 per cent of the 16,838 households.

Read: Morocco’s ‘cargo women’ carry goods worth millions of euros on their backs

According to the HCP, one in five female household heads live alone – compared with 4.6 per cent of male heads of household – generally have fewer dependents and live in smaller dwellings which are poorly equipped.

90.3 per cent of female-headed households have a mobile phone and 21.9 per cent have a computer compared with 95.1 per cent and 26.1 per cent of households with a male head.

Despite Morocco adopting a family code that was hailed by women’s rights groups a decade ago and three years ago passing a new constitution guaranteeing gender equality, changes have been slow.

Women make up 50 per cent of the population, 47 per cent of education enrolment and only 26 per cent of the labour force.

(Source / 11.10.2017)

Moroccan MP to Former Israeli Defense Minister: “War Criminal, Leave Our Country”

10 OCT
4:45 AM

Moroccan lawmakers protested yesterday, against the presence of an Israeli delegation at a conference organised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), at the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat.

The parliamentarians called it “a provocation against the Moroccan people.”

“You are a war criminal and you have to leave Morocco,” said Abdel Haq Hissan, a Democratic Confederation of Labour (CDT) MP, addressing former Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz in the conference hall.

“You are a criminal against humanity,” he continued, according to Al Ray. “You killed children and innocent people, you have to leave the parliament, and we reject your attendance as well as the delegation accompanying you.”

The Moroccan parliamentarians raised the Palestinian flag and banners inside the conference hall, calling for the expulsion of the delegation.

On Saturday, three parliamentary blocs in the House of Advisors rejected the presence of the Israeli delegation.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Moroccan Workers Union, the largest union in the country and the CDT said in a joint statement that they “received with great dismay” the news that Peretz was there.

PAM and the WTO are organizing a two day conference on facilitating trade and investment in the region.

(Source / 10.10.2017)