Morocco condemns Israel for violence at Al Aqsa

Rabat says deliberate provocation will only inflame hatred and extremism

Israeli police use force on Palestinian demonstrators at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. AFP

Morocco has condemned Israeli actions against Palestinian worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem this week.

The kingdom expressed its “firm condemnation of the incursion by Israeli occupation forces into the Al Aqsa Mosque, their closure of its gates and their aggression against unarmed worshippers in the mosque compound”, a Moroccan Foreign Ministry statement said.

Morocco “believes that this flagrant aggression and deliberate provocation during the holy month of Ramadan will only inflame hatred and extremism, and reduce to nothing the chances of any relaunch of a peace process in the region”.

More than 150 people were injured in clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, the first face-off at the holy site since the start of Ramadan.

Witnesses said Palestinians threw stones at Israeli forces, who fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

Morocco restored diplomatic relations with Israel in late 2020 under an agreement brokered by the administration of then-president Donald Trump that also led to US recognising Morocco's claim to sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara.

But Morocco remains the chair of the Al Quds (Jerusalem) Committee of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which is given the responsibility of protecting the Al Aqsa Mosque and the cultural heritage of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem.

King Mohammed VI asked Morocco's condemnation to be relayed directly to the head of the Israeli liaison office in Rabat, the ministry said.

The ministry called on the United Nations and the international community to “intervene urgently to put a stop to these violations and aggressions against the Palestinian people” .

Updated: April 17, 2022, 8:22 AM