Moroccan lawyers mobilise to stop deal with Israel

Moroccan lawyers petition Supreme Court to halt Israel normalisation deal
2 min read
29 December, 2020
Taking to the Supreme Court, a group of local lawyers 'demanded a reversal' of Morocco’s normalisation deal with Israel.
Morocco hopes the deal would lead to the US recognising Rabat's sovereignty over Western Sahara.[Getty]

A group of Moroccan lawyers have demanded a reversal of the country's normalisation deal with Israel, saying it would contravene the constitution as well as a number of international conventions that Rabat has signed up to, according to media reports.

The lawyers filed a case at Morocco's Supreme Court saying the agreement with Israel would violate the constitution, the UN and Vienna conventions, and so should be annulled according to Turkey's Anadolu agency this week.

They also called for all agreements with Israel in "political, diplomatic, economic and tourism spheres" to be frozen.

It follows an announcement on 10 December that Morocco and Israel would normalise relations, paving the way for flights between the two countries and other forms of cooperation.

A normalisation agreement was signed between the two countries in Rabat, on 22 December.

The US, which brokered the deal, also announced this month it would recognise Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara region.

Rabat denied claims that this decision was motivated by Morocco's normalisation deal with Israel.

Morocco is the third Arab country this year to normalise ties with the Israel under US-brokered deals, while Sudan has pledged to follow suit.

Four bilateral deals were signed 22 December between Israel and Morocco, centring on direct air links, water management, connecting financial systems and a visa waiver arrangement for diplomats.

The countries are also due to reopen diplomatic offices.

Read also: Netanyahu invites Moroccan king to visit Israel after phone call

Morocco had previously closed its liaison office in Tel Aviv in 2000, at the start of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

The kingdom has North Africa's largest Jewish community of about 3,000 people, and Israel is home to 700,000 Jews of Moroccan origin.

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