Thousands rally in Morocco and Tunisia against Trump Mideast peace plan
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Thousands rally in Morocco and Tunisia against Trump Mideast peace plan

Demonstrators burn Israeli flags, call for boycott of American products, denounce US as ‘enemy of peace’ and chant ‘Palestine is not for sale’

A Moroccan man walks next to a Palestinian flag during a demonstration against the US Middle East peace plan in the capital Rabat on February 9, 2020. (FADEL SENNA / AFP)
A Moroccan man walks next to a Palestinian flag during a demonstration against the US Middle East peace plan in the capital Rabat on February 9, 2020. (FADEL SENNA / AFP)

RABAT, Morocco — Thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Morocco and Tunisia on Sunday to protest against a new US Middle East peace plan which the Palestinians say favors Israel.

Carrying Palestinian flags, demonstrators, including local politicians and trade unionists, marched in Rabat chanting, “Long live Palestine.”

They called for a boycott of American products, denounced the United States as “enemies of peace” and chanted, “Palestine is not for sale.”

Some of the demonstrators, who wore red-black-green-white scarves in the colors of the Palestinian standard, burned an Israeli flag and spoke against any attempt by Morocco “to normalize” ties with the Jewish state.

Morocco has warming, but quiet relations with Israel, and no formal diplomatic ties.

Moroccans burn the Israeli flag during a demonstration against the US Middle East peace plan in the capital Rabat on February 9, 2020. (FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Israel and Morocco opened “liaison” offices in each other’s countries in the mid-1990s but Rabat closed them during the Second Intifada in 2000.

Elsewhere in North Africa, hundreds of Tunisians also protested Sunday against the US peace plan, in the eastern city of Sfax, an AFP journalist reported. Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union, which organized the march, called the proposal an “accord of shame.”

Last month, US President Donald Trump unveiled his Middle East plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians which the Palestinians have rejected as biased in favor of the Jewish state.

Under the plan, Israel would retain control of the disputed city of Jerusalem as its “undivided capital,” and annex 30 percent of the West Bank including all the settlements, with the Palestinians getting some land in southern Israel as compensation. Palestinians, however, want all of East Jerusalem to be the capital, including the Old City of any future state. The plan provides for a demilitarized Palestinian state with limited sovereignty, under overall Israeli security control, if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and disarm Hamas.

The plan has also been rejected by the Arab League, the African Union, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — three bodies in which Morocco is a prominent member.

After Trump unveiled the plan, the foreign minister of Morocco, a key US ally, said Rabat “appreciates the constructive efforts for peace deployed by the US administration for a durable solution in the Middle East.”

Nasser Bourita went on to reiterate that Morocco’s position is to support the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report

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