At the invitation of the Development and Justice Party, Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Morocco as the head of a delegation from the Hamas movement. This is the Hamas leader’s first visit to Morocco.
According to the PJD, talks with the party’s officials will focus on the latest developments in the Palestinian cause. During this visit, the Hamas leader will also meet with officials from other Moroccan political parties.
Haniyeh thanked Othmani for the invitation and stated, “I hope that this visit will lead to getting the desired and expected results from the brotherly country Morocco.”
Prime Minister Othmani said “Morocco sees the Palestinian issue in the same position as Western Sahara. It has a very important place for all Moroccans, including the King, the government and the people.”
Haniyeh came to Rabat at the invitation of the PJD and will meet other political parties in Morocco as part of his visit, which will last for a few days.
Haniyeh’s visit comes a few months after Morocco normalized relations with Israel in 2020, following the suit of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. After Israel’s attacks on Sheikh Jarrah, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Gaza, PJD officials reacted strongly and announced that they were in solidarity with Hamas and the Palestinians.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI announced on December 10, 2020, that relations with Israel would be established “as soon as possible”. On the same day, US President Donald Trump announced that Morocco and Israel had reached an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations.
With this decision, Morocco became the fourth Arab country to reach a normalization agreement with Israel in 2020, after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, and became the first country in the Maghreb region.
Morocco and Israel signed 4 agreements on December 22, 2020, within the scope of the normalization of diplomatic relations. Israel also appointed former Egyptian Ambassador David Govrin as the temporary head of the diplomatic mission to Morocco, following the normalization agreement between the two countries on January 11.