Self-proclaimed guardian of the Palestinian cause, the Algiers regime has been conspicuous by its silence since the outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian war on Saturday 7 October. No diplomatic action, no humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza

Algiers bans demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people

AFP/ANGELA WEISS - El presidente argelino Abdelmadjid Tebboune se dirige a la 78ª Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en la sede de la ONU en Nueva York el 19 de septiembre de 2023
photo_camera AFP/ANGELA WEISS - Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on 19 September 2023

And to think that, in November 2022, during the Arab summit in Algiers, President Tebboune shouted loud and clear to the national and international press that he made the Palestinian cause a personal matter, declaring: "I will pursue it in person".

The Palestinian issue was a recurring theme in the Algerian president's media appearances. He raised it at the United Nations when he addressed the 78th session of the General Assembly last September. But this is not enough to claim to contribute to finding a solution to the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian cause needs action, not words, as a member of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah pointed out to us.

While the Algerian regime continues to point the finger at its Moroccan neighbour, stigmatising it and accusing it of betraying the Palestinians, recent events in Gaza have exposed it. At a time when demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people were multiplying throughout the Moroccan kingdom, the Algiers regime banned all public demonstrations in support of Palestine. What a contradiction between words and deeds! Suddenly, we realise that the Algerian regime does nothing more than repeat empty slogans that have discredited it in the eyes of the Algerian people and all Arab peoples.

Una columna de humo se eleva en el cielo de la ciudad de Gaza durante un ataque aéreo israelí el 9 de octubre de 2023 

AFP/ MAHMUD HAMS
AFP/ MAHMUD HAMS - A column of smoke rises in the sky over Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on October 9, 2023

Moreover, Algeria has not even thought for a moment of sending humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, whose needs in terms of basic foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals are enormous.

To make matters worse, President Tebboune did not even think of calling the president of the Palestinian Authority to take an interest in the situation. The opposite happened on 11 October. The Algerian head of state did not take the opportunity to offer any help to a people in great difficulty, of which he prides himself on being a fervent supporter.

Many observers believe that the Algerian president is doing his best to link the Palestinian cause to the Western Sahara issue. In a sense, he is trying to sell the issue at the same time. He does not hesitate to put the two issues on the same plane, often making the Palestinian leadership uncomfortable. 

At the military parade organised to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Algeria's independence, Algerian leaders placed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Polisario leader Brahim Ghali side by side. Throughout the parade, Mahmoud Abbas did not smile at his neighbour. Worse still. He did not even look at him. He went out of his way to avoid meeting him and shaking his hand.

What political observers also remember is that the Algerian regime does not give to the Palestinian cause one thousandth of what it gives to the Polisario. The Polisario receives annual aid of at least a billion US dollars. This speaks for itself.

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