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Photo: EPA
Demonstrators burn Israeli flag
Photo: EPA
Hundreds protest against Israeli flag in Morocco
During UN climate talks in capital, crowds chanting 'death to America, death to Israel' demonstrate outside parliament in Rabat against hoisting of Israeli flag, saying it 'symbolizes recognizing Israel.'
Hundreds demonstrated in the Moroccan capital Wednesday against the Israeli flag being flown beside the colours of 195 other countries at UN climate talks in the central city of Marrakesh.

 

 

More than 200 people protested outside parliament in Rabat against the Jewish state's flag being hoisted at the COP22 conference that opened Monday.

 

Protesters in Morocco compare Israel to apartheid (Photo: EPA)
Protesters in Morocco compare Israel to apartheid (Photo: EPA)

 

"The Israeli flag at COP22 means Morocco symbolically recognizing the state of Israel. It's unacceptable," one protester told AFP.

 

"Death to America, death to Israel!" demonstrators cried while burning the Israeli flag and parading anti-Israel placards.

 

Israeli flag burning (Photo: EPA)
Israeli flag burning (Photo: EPA)

 

Several pro-Palestinian associations took part in the protest after calling on authorities to take action about the flag earlier this week.

 

On Tuesday, Morocco's Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar responded that "UN meetings around the world welcome all nations" and that the fight against climate change "requires all governments to commit".

 

Photo: EPA
Photo: EPA

 

Morocco supported Palestine gaining observer status at the United Nations in 2012, Mezouar said, and is "the first to defend the Palestinian cause".

 

Photo: EPA
Photo: EPA

 

Mezouar denounced what he called "political exploitation" of the climate talks running to November 18.

 

In 2013, a film about Morocco's dwindling Jewish community caused a stir, with around 200 people—mostly Islamists—demonstrating against it being shown at the Tangiers film festival, denouncing what they called an attempt to "normalise relations with Israel."

 

The protests contrast with more cordial relations being established with a delegation of Moroccan journalists who arrived for a visit in Israel this week and were hosted by the foreign ministry despite the threats of intimidation they faced back home.

 


First published: 11.10.16, 12:43
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