Tens of thousands of Moroccans marched Sunday through Casablanca in a show of solidarity with Palestinians, AFP correspondents said, more than three weeks into the deadly war between Israel and Hamas.
“Stop the genocide in Gaza,” read one banner at the march, echoing claims by Palestinian officials and Arab leaders as the death toll in Gaza has topped 8,000 people, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Israel has bombarded the narrow Palestinian enclave since Hamas militants on October 7 launched massive raids into southern Israel, killing at least 1,400 people, also mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.
At the rally in Casablanca, banners called to “open the Rafah crossing” between Gaza and Egypt and “close the Zionist (Israeli) liaison office in Rabat”, which had opened after Morocco and Israel normalised ties in 2020 in a US-brokered deal.
Jamel El Assri, coordinator for the anti-normalisation alliance of leftist parties and Islamists that organised the protest, said the turnout proved “once again that the Moroccan people speak with one voice, in support of the Palestinian people”.
This was just the latest rally to draw vast crowds in the North African country since the Israel-Hamas war began.
“We came to show our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance, to appeal for the lifting of the blockade against Gaza and for an end to the war,” protester Amina Boukhelkhal told AFP.
Men, women and children, wearing keffiyeh scarves and brandishing Palestinian flags, streamed down a major road of the Moroccan economic capital, the AFP correspondents said.
The crowd chanted “the (Israeli) occupation must fall”, “the people want the liberation of Palestine” and “we reject normalisation”.
As part of the 2020 normalisation agreement, which saw Israel and Morocco establish formal ties, the United States recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara.