Casablanca - An Israel Foreign Ministry (IFM) announcement revealed that a Moroccan delegation would be traveling to Israel this December.
Casablanca – An Israel Foreign Ministry (IFM) announcement revealed that a Moroccan delegation would be traveling to Israel this December.
The IFM announcement stated that the delegation will be made up of “social activists in the field of education of culture” and that they are scheduled to arrive on December 28 — more specific information regarding the delegation would be revealed next month.
“There is more and more interest in Morocco towards Israel,” one diplomatic official told the Jerusalem Post. “More and more delegations are coming, and we see that as positive and encouraging,” the official added.
According to the same source, this would be the third delegation to visit Israel in the span of 2 months, after a delegation of senior Moroccan journalists and a group of Moroccan educators who travelled to Israel to participate in a seminar on how to teach the Moroccan public about the Holocaust.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the delegations’ travel to Israel, however.
Referring to the Moroccan journalist delegation’s visit to Israel, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum had stated that “in the shadow of the escalation of the crimes of the Israeli enemy and the actions of racist purification against our people, we condemn the visit of a team of Moroccan media persons to the Israeli entity with the goal of normalizing with it and undertaking a campaign of beautifying its image in the Arab media.”
Relations between Morocco and Israel have been rocky for years, and were formally severed in 2000 since the second intifada, but controversy was recently stirred when the Israeli flag was raised at this year’s COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech.
Hundreds of Moroccans protested the decision on November 9. “The Israeli flag at COP22 means Morocco symbolically recognizes the state of Israel. It’s unacceptable,” one protester told Agence France Presse.
In response, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Salaheddine Mezouar stated the following: “We are in the context of a United Nations conference. It’s a multilateral meeting that reunited all parties. All United Nations meetings across the world welcome all nations.”