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Morocco normalizing ties with Israel draws series of mixed reactions

Across the Arab world, the announcement of normalization of ties with Israel draws mixed reactions.

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After Morocco announced that it is normalizing ties with Israel, the news provoked polarized reactions. Although King Mohammed VI phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to confirm Morocco’s firm commitment to the Palestinian cause, reactions were immediate.

«It is a political sin that does not serve the Palestinian cause. It is a decision that encourages the occupation and denies the rights of our people», Hazem Qassem, spokesman for Hamas, said on Thursday.

The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine called the resumption of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv a «betrayal of Palestine and Al Quds». Speaking to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the movement’s spokesperson said he was confident in «the rejection of the Moroccan people of normalization».

As for the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, it has not yet broken its silence. The authority resumed its contacts with Israel in November, after years of disruption.

Egypt and Gulf countries welcome the initiative

In Egypt, President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi welcomed on Twitter a decision «capable of achieving more stability and regional cooperation».

The Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates also took to Twitter to comment on the resumption of relations between Morocco and Israel. «We welcome the recognition by the United States of Rabat's sovereignty over the Moroccan Sahara, as well as the resumption of contacts and diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel. A positive step towards our common quest for stability, prosperity and peace in the region», he wrote.

After the reaction of Mohamed Ben Zayed, the UAE Foreign Ministry in turn welcomed on Twitter the «recognition by the United States of the sovereignty of Morocco over all of its territory and the decision of the kingdom to resume official contacts and diplomatic relations with Israel».

The King of Bahrain also welcomed the decision of the Trump administration, recognizing the Moroccan character of the Sahara and the opening of an American consulate in Dakhla. «It is an important historical step which strengthens territorial sovereignty and Moroccan rights in the Moroccan Sahara», indicates the Bahraini press agency.

King Hamad welcomed Morocco's announcement «to establish official contacts and diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Israel, which will promote the chances of achieving peace, stability and prosperity in the region».

Abu Dhabi and Manama have normalized ties with Tel Aviv this year. They both also decided to open consulates in Laâyoune.

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