Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas's political office abroad, incited in the Moroccan kingdom to mobilise against Israel over the war in Gaza, which affects the North African country's politics

Great anger in Morocco over Hamas leader's interference in its internal affairs

PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA - Khaled Meshaal
photo_camera PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA - Khaled Meshaal

Anger and strong unease in Morocco over the interference of Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas' political office abroad, in its internal affairs by calling for mobilisation and opposition against Israel over the war in Gaza against Hamas after the Palestinian armed group launched a terrible terrorist attack on Israeli territory on 7 October.  

Several analysts detected in this case a call for disobedience by the Muslim world to oppose Israel with a message that could damage the relationship between the Moroccan population and King Mohammed VI, who has been developing a foreign policy of pacification and closer ties in the Middle East, including with Israel.

Morocco joined the famous Accords of Abraham, promoted by Donald Trump's former US administration, which involved the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Israeli state and several Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which joined the only nations in the Arab world to recognise Israel in the past: Egypt and Jordan.  

AP/ALEX BRANDON - La ceremonia de firma de los Acuerdos de Abraham en el Jardín Sur de la Casa Blanca, en Washington
AP/ALEX BRANDON - The signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C.

Since 2020, the Abraham Accords have sought the pacification of the Middle East and the economic, political and social development of the region thanks to a political rapprochement between Israel and Arab countries that has led in recent years to very beneficial pacts in various sectors such as infrastructure, military, technological, etc., as in the case of the many memorandums signed between the Israeli state and the Moroccan kingdom that have benefited both countries.  

This call for disobedience by interfering in the internal affairs of the Moroccan kingdom and attempting to destabilise the relationship between the Moroccan people and King Mohammed VI has generated much anger in the North African country. Considering that it comes from an important Hamas member like Khaled Meshaal, a Palestinian in exile who serves as the political leader of the Syrian branch of Hamas' political leadership and an important leader in the jihadist formation since the assassination of Abdel Aziz ar-Rantisi in 2004. 

Khaled Meshaal's speech provoked widespread anger in Morocco for what Moroccans saw as an incitement against their national security by calling on them to demonstrate to overthrow the peace agreement between the Kingdom and Israel.

PHOTO/MAP - Mohamed VI
PHOTO/MAP - Mohammed VI

According to media outlets such as Al-Arab, angry reactions to the speech appeared in local media and on social media as it was seen as an intrusion into the internal affairs of the Moroccan kingdom, an incitement to civil disobedience and an attempt to damage the strong relationship established between the people and the monarch of Morocco. A bond between the Alawi king and Moroccan citizens based on respect and the trust and support of a citizenry that is seeing how the policies of the Alawi king have served since 1999, the year Mohammed VI ascended the throne, to develop the country in all areas and place it in a very good position on an international scale, at a time like the present when Morocco is seen as a reliable and guaranteed partner on an economic and security level by relevant nations such as the United States, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain.  

As reported by Al-Arab media, on Sunday, Khaled Meshaal intervened via video at a meeting of the Islamist Justice and Development Party and its activist arm, the Unification and Reform Movement, during a meeting of solidarity with Palestine organised at the Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat and in the presence of the party's secretary general, Abdelilah Benkirane, who was condescending and impassive in the face of Khaled Meshaal's controversial statements. 

Meshaal said: "I am addressing you, oh Moroccans, the masses and the Islamic and national forces, regardless of your political or ideological movements. You can address the country's leaders with zeal for Morocco, its interests and security, and zeal for Palestine".

PHOTO/FILE - Abdelilah Benkirane
PHOTO/FILE - Abdelilah Benkirane

He added: "If the beloved Moroccan people support their ruler, Morocco, officially and popularly, can take this step with merit, right a wrong and fulfil a duty", and that "it is the only way to push the United States and the West to change their position". 

Moroccan observers considered the speech to include a meaningless and unreliable bet on Morocco's positions on the Palestinian issue, which are longstanding and solid positions, as the Moroccan king is the head of the Jerusalem Committee and Morocco was one of the first to take the initiative in sending aid to Gaza. 

Moroccans spontaneously took to the streets and demonstrated to express their support for Gaza, in line with their country's and their leaders' commitment to the Palestinian cause. They showed that they do not need anyone to call on them to act in support of Palestine. 

Mohammed Lakrini, a professor of international law and international relations in Morocco, confirmed to Al-Arab that 'Meshaal is not aware that Moroccan foreign policy puts the Palestinian issue at the top of the agenda along with the Western Sahara issue, and this does not accept any political interference'. 

Meshaal's speech included interference in Morocco's sovereignty by attempting to urge the population to demonstrate and put pressure on the Moroccan leadership to change its foreign policy without taking into account that the North African country does not accept any outside interference in its sovereign decisions.  

In this scenario, it should be noted that other radical formations such as Hezbollah and the Houthis, who are Shiite in nature and closely linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran, have called on the Muslim world to attack Israel over the Gaza war, which has generated more instability in the Middle East.

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