Morocco, EU Co-Chair Two Counter-Terrorism Meetings

Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation, which oversees counter-terrorism operations, apprehend a suspect in Tangier in October 2021. Moroccan police said Thursday they had arrested a suspected ISIS group member. (AFP/File)
Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation, which oversees counter-terrorism operations, apprehend a suspect in Tangier in October 2021. Moroccan police said Thursday they had arrested a suspected ISIS group member. (AFP/File)
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Morocco, EU Co-Chair Two Counter-Terrorism Meetings

Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation, which oversees counter-terrorism operations, apprehend a suspect in Tangier in October 2021. Moroccan police said Thursday they had arrested a suspected ISIS group member. (AFP/File)
Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation, which oversees counter-terrorism operations, apprehend a suspect in Tangier in October 2021. Moroccan police said Thursday they had arrested a suspected ISIS group member. (AFP/File)

Morocco, in its capacity as co-chair of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), co-chaired with the European Union (EU), on March 20 and 21, respectively, the 5th session of the dialogue between the Forum and its specialized agencies and the 9th consultation on the partnership with the United Nations Coordination Compact on Counter-Terrorism.

The two meetings, which were held remotely, saw a broad participation of officials and representatives of the working groups and initiatives launched by the GCTF, the bodies of the UN Coordination Compact on Counter-Terrorism and the specialized agencies of the Forum, including the Center of Excellence "Hedayah", the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience (GCERF), the International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law (IIL), as well as the member countries of the Forum.

During the talks, the Director of Global Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Ismail Chekkori, highlighted Morocco's continued commitment to regional and global stability and security through its third term at the helm of the GCTF, affirming his country’s inclusive and consensual approach in favor of multilateral cooperation to combat the terrorist threat.

Stressing the importance of maintaining the momentum that permeates the bonds of cooperation and collaboration between the GCTF, on the one hand, and the specialized agencies and the United Nations Coordination Compact, on the other, Chekkori reiterated the need to explore further modalities to ensure the implementation of best practices in countering terrorism and violent extremism, some of which have already been adopted by the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.

The two consultations provided an opportunity for participants to commend the strong commitment and sustained efforts of Morocco, which has co-chaired the Forum for three terms with the Netherlands and Canada, and currently with the European Union, as well as all partners working with the GCTF, to initiate and strengthen further coordination and partnerships in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

They also welcomed the role of the Kingdom and its critical contribution to maintaining the excellence of the partnership between the Forum, the Specialized Agencies and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact, launched under Morocco's co-chairmanship.

Finally, the speakers identified priorities for future action, particularly with regard to new and emerging technologies in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Africa.



Borrel Demands Probe into Gaza Red Cross Office Shelling as Tens of Thousands Rally Against Israeli Govt.

Anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel estimated more than 150,000 people attended the latest anti-government rally in Tel Aviv, calling it the biggest since the Gaza war began - AFP
Anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel estimated more than 150,000 people attended the latest anti-government rally in Tel Aviv, calling it the biggest since the Gaza war began - AFP
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Borrel Demands Probe into Gaza Red Cross Office Shelling as Tens of Thousands Rally Against Israeli Govt.

Anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel estimated more than 150,000 people attended the latest anti-government rally in Tel Aviv, calling it the biggest since the Gaza war began - AFP
Anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel estimated more than 150,000 people attended the latest anti-government rally in Tel Aviv, calling it the biggest since the Gaza war began - AFP

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Saturday called for a probe into deadly shelling that damaged an office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza.

"The EU condemns the shelling which damaged the ICRC office in Gaza and led to dozens of casualties. An independent investigation is needed and those responsible must be held accountable," Borrell wrote on X.

This came as tens of thousands of protesters waving Israeli flags and chanting slogans against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government rallied in Tel Aviv Saturday, demanding new elections and the return of hostages held in Gaza, AFP reported.

Large protests have occurred in the Israeli city on a weekly basis over Netanyahu's handling of the nearly nine-month-old war in Gaza started by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel.

Many protesters held signs reading "Crime Minister" and "Stop the War" as people poured into the biggest Israeli city's main thoroughfare.

"I am here because I am afraid of the future of my grandchild. There will be no future for them if we don't go out and get rid of the horrible government," said 66-year-old contractor Shai Erel.

"All of the rats in the Knesset... I wouldn't let any one of them be a guard of a kindergarten."

Anti-government protest organization Hofshi Israel estimated more than 150,000 people attended the rally, calling it the biggest since the Gaza war began.

Some demonstrators lay on the ground covered in red paint in the city's Democracy Square to protest what they say is the death of the country's democracy under Netanyahu.

In an address to the crowd, a former head of Israel's domestic Shin Bet security agency, Yuval Diskin, condemned Netanyahu as Israel's "worst prime minister".

Many are frustrated with the country's right-wing coalition, which includes Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and other far-right ultra-nationalists, accusing it of prolonging the war in Gaza and putting the country's security and hostages at risk.

Yoram, a 50-year-old tour guide who declined to give his last name, said he was attending every weekly protest as Israel needed elections "yesterday" because of Netanyahu.

"I really hope that the government collapses," he said. "If we go to the original date of elections in 2026, it is not going to be a democratic election."