The prime minister of Morocco, a country that last year normalized ties with Israel, reportedly sent a personal message to the leader of the Hamas terror group congratulating him on his “victory” over the “Zionist entity” in the recent fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
According to the Ynet news site, Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani sent a letter Saturday to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in which he extended his “warmest congratulations” on “the victory achieved by the Palestinian people and the supreme resistance after the ceasefire agreement between the factions of the resistance and the Zionist entity.”
Morocco became the third Arab state to normalize ties with Israel in 2020 under US-brokered deals, joining the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. In return, then-US president Donald Trump fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its contested sovereignty in Western Sahara, which Rabat refers to as its “southern provinces.”
Israel and Morocco plan to establish full embassies in one another’s countries in the future.
After 11 days of fighting Israel and Hamas agreed, through Egyptian mediators, to a ceasefire that began at 2 a.m. on Friday.
During the conflict, Hamas and other terror groups fired more than 4,300 rockets at Israel while the IDF responded with hundreds of airstrikes against terror targets in Gaza.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and teens, and 1,910 people were wounded. It does not differentiate between terror group members and civilians. The Israeli army says some of the Gaza casualties were caused by the terror groups’ rockets falling short and landing inside Gaza.
Twelve people were killed in Israel, all but one of them civilians, including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl.
The fighting began May 10, when Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem. Palestinian terror groups tied rocket fire from Gaza to unrest in Jerusalem connected to prayers on the Temple Mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and to the pending eviction of a number of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.