Morocco PM Rejects ‘Betrayal’ Accusations after Signing Normalization Deal with Israel

Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani. (PJD Press Office)
Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani. (PJD Press Office)
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Morocco PM Rejects ‘Betrayal’ Accusations after Signing Normalization Deal with Israel

Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani. (PJD Press Office)
Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani. (PJD Press Office)

Morocco’s Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani has denounced statements accusing him of “betraying” the Palestinian cause, after he signed a normalization deal with Israel on Dec. 22.

He justified this step by affirming that his Justice and Development Party (PJD) cannot contradict with the state’s choices and the King’s directives.

In a speech before a PJD National Council meeting, the PM said his party acted in support of King Mohammed VI’s national effort “to defend the sovereignty of the homeland and consecrate the Moroccan Sahara.”

Bolstering Morocco’s sovereignty and enhancing its national unity are among the party’s program and targets, he noted.

Othmani said that he accepts the criticism, however, he rejects any questioning of the party’s position and that of Morocco, regarding the Palestinian cause.

He asserted that there are no compromises when it comes to the Palestinian cause, as well as the Sahara issue, stressing that he still rejects the violations committed by Israel against Palestinians and its settlements activities.

The PM renewed support to the Palestinians’ right to return to their country and establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He cited a royal statement on Dec. 10, which stressed that recent “measures do not in any manner affect Morocco’s ongoing and sustained commitment to the just Palestinian cause.”

Othmani expressed surprise by those who attacked his party and accused it of changing its position.

“We reject the attacks and any questioning of the party’s position and Morocco’s position regarding the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he stressed, in reference to remarks by the Palestinian Hamas movement.

“What is required is clarity and steadfastness in the positions, as well as strength to act on their basis,” he said, calling on everyone to be “just, objective and humble.”

According to Othmani, the PJD’s strategy is based on being loyal to the king, fulfilling the unified national principles, contributing to political and social reform and maintaining its political and organizational unity.



High Risk of Famine Persists Across Gaza, Global Hunger Monitor Says 

Men and children search through debris in the yard of the Asma school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in the Shati camp for Palestinian refugees west of Gaza City, in the aftermath of overnight Israeli bombardment on June 25, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Men and children search through debris in the yard of the Asma school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in the Shati camp for Palestinian refugees west of Gaza City, in the aftermath of overnight Israeli bombardment on June 25, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
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High Risk of Famine Persists Across Gaza, Global Hunger Monitor Says 

Men and children search through debris in the yard of the Asma school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in the Shati camp for Palestinian refugees west of Gaza City, in the aftermath of overnight Israeli bombardment on June 25, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)
Men and children search through debris in the yard of the Asma school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), in the Shati camp for Palestinian refugees west of Gaza City, in the aftermath of overnight Israeli bombardment on June 25, 2024 amid the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territory between Israel and Hamas. (AFP)

A high risk of famine persists across the whole of the Gaza Strip as long as conflict between Israel and Hamas continues and humanitarian access remains restricted, a global hunger monitor said on Tuesday.

Over 495,000 people, or more than one fifth of Gaza's population, are facing the most severe, catastrophic level of food insecurity, said an update from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

The IPC said increased deliveries of food and nutrition services to northern Gaza in March and April appeared to have reduced the severity of hunger in the area, where the UN-backed body had previously projected that famine was likely.

But Israel's offensive around the southern city of Rafah from early May and other hostilities and displacement have led to a renewed deterioration in recent weeks, it added.

"The humanitarian space in the Gaza Strip continues to shrink and the ability to safely deliver assistance to populations is dwindling. The recent trajectory is negative and highly unstable," the report said.

The Rafah offensive led to the closure of the crossing on Gaza's border with Egypt, which had been a main route for the delivery of food and other supplies, as well as an evacuation point for civilians who were critically ill or injured.

This factor, along with disruptions at the nearby Israeli crossing of Kerem Shalom, reduced humanitarian access to two million people in southern Gaza, the IPC said.

Within Gaza, displacement to areas with less water and fewer health services "increases the risk of disease outbreaks, which would have catastrophic effects on the nutritional and health status of large segments of the population", it said.

Israel's military campaign in Gaza was launched after Hamas-led fighters raided southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

The Israeli response has killed almost 37,600 people, according to Palestinian health authorities, leaving Gaza in ruins and repeatedly displacing much of its population within the blockaded coastal territory.