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Palestine : Muslim Brotherhood groups in several countries denounce «betrayal» of Morocco’s PJD

Parties and movements affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab countries have accused their Islamist «brethren» in the Justice and Development Party of betraying the Palestinian cause.

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The Justice and Development Party (PJD), which heads the government coalition in Morocco, found itself in the middle of a wave of criticism, after Morocco's decision to formalize the normalization of its relations with Israel.

As in other Arab Islamist parties, support for the Palestinian cause and the rejection of normalization with Israel is part of the PJD's policy. In 2013, its parliamentary group was among those who submitted a bill criminalizing normalization with Israel. But the proposal was ignored.

On August 21, the party's general secretariat issued a statement to mark the 51st anniversary of the al-Aqsa mosque fire. It reaffirmed that «normalization with the Zionist entity is support for its aggression against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people».

The PJD had even criticized the official normalization of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel. On August 23, Sadeddine El Othmani said during a party meeting that Morocco rejected normalization with the Zionist entity, because any diplomatic move would strengthen Tel Aviv's position in its violations of the rights of the Palestinian people.

But a few months later, El Othmani met Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, for the signing of the joint declaration that outlines the next steps in the normalization process between Morocco and Israel. The meeting shocked a number of parties and movements affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world.

Hamas says it is abandoned by the PJD

Member of the political bureau of the Palestinian movement Hamas Mousa Abumarzook expressed his firm rejection of the signing of the joint declaration. On his Twitter account, he denounced «the deplorable step which does not express the real principled position of the Moroccan people and their support for the Palestinian cause». «We were deeply disappointed by the signing of the agreement by Saadeddine El Othmani, from whom we had hoped for an honorable historic position», he added.

Within Hamas as well, leader Sami Abu Zuhri viewed the deal as «a great disappointment for the Palestinian people and cause». On social media, he expressed his «dissatisfaction with the signing of the agreement by El Othmani», while considering this approach «as a major failure for the PJD». Sami Abu Zuhri called for «correcting this error, in order to preserve the status of Morocco and the history of the party».

Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait

In Kuwait, the Islamic Constitutional Movement, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, issued a statement condemning and denouncing the normalization agreement between Morocco and Israel. It sees in this decision «a stab in the back for the first Muslim cause» and a «support for the Zionist occupation of the land of Israel and the Al-Aqsa mosque».

The movement denounced the «shameful position of the PJD government». «If the normalization resulting from weak governments is already considered a betrayal, this one is even greater because it emanates from a party with an Islamist background», he added.

Algerian Brotherhood affiliates believe that El Othmani has betrayed his principles

The position of Algeria’s Movement of Society and Peace, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, was also voiced on social media by its president. On his Facebook page, Abderrazzak Makri wrote that the «Prime Minister, the secretary general of the PJD, must be ashamed of this decision as he betrayed his principles and his previous anti-normalization position».

«We know that there are sincere activists in this party who support the Palestinians against the Zionist occupier. However, if the institutions of this political formation accept this betrayal, then it is a party that has officially entered the circle of Zionism, and every statement pleading support for the Palestinian cause is false», he said.

In Jordan, normalization is seen as «a stab»

In Jordan, the Islamic Action Front Party, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, denounced in a statement the approach of the government led by the PJD. 

It described the signing of the tripartite declaration as «a stab against the Palestinian cause, its resistance to the occupation and a betrayal of the positions of the Arab peoples who reject any form of normalization with the Zionist enemy».

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