Moroccans protest flying of Israeli flag in Marrakesh
Hundreds of people in Morocco have held a protest rally in the capital to vent their anger at the Israeli flag being flown at UN climate talks in the central city of Marrakesh.
They protested outside parliament in Rabat against Israel’s flag being hoisted at the COP22 conference that opened on Monday.
“The Israeli flag at COP22 means Morocco symbolically recognizing the state of Israel. It’s unacceptable,” one protester said.
The rally was staged after the Moroccan government turned down the request by several pro-Palestinian associations to take action against the flying of the Israeli flag.
The protesters on Wednesday shouted anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans and set an Israeli flag on fire.
The National Working Group for Palestine earlier denounced “an Israeli presence on Moroccan territory.” The NGO expressed its opposition against “all forms of normalization with Israel under any pretext whatsoever.”
The group is “opposed to the provocation of Moroccans’ feelings and the violation of the nation’s sovereignty and dignity; and opposed to supporting terrorism, criminality and racism,” it said.
Another non-governmental organization, the Moroccan Association for Supporting the Nation’s Causes, described the act as a “provocation of Moroccans’ feelings” given their historic support for the Palestinians.
The association called on the people to express their “rejection of these uncalculated steps, which contradict Moroccans’ love for Palestine and reinforce the Occupation’s crimes.”
Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said Morocco supported Palestine gaining observer status at the United Nations in 2012, adding the country was “the first to defend the Palestinian cause.”
He further denounced what he called “political exploitation” of the climate talks running until November 18.