Across West Asia and North Africa, Massive Protests in Solidarity With Palestine

A key demand of those across the region, in addition to an end to Israel's siege against Gaza, is for Arab governments to end normalization with Israel.

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Demonstrators march to express support for Palestinians amid the 2023 Israel-Gaza war, in Rabat, Morocco, on October 15, 2023. (FADEL SENNA/AFP)

Since October 7, hundreds of thousands have participated in demonstrations in cities across West Asia and North Africa in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s resistance to occupation.

A key demand of those across the region, in addition to an end to Israel’s siege against Gaza, is for Arab governments to end normalization with Israel.

“Normalization” refers to the process where countries in the region have, through different agreements, mechanisms, or actions, recognized Israel and established a diplomatic relationship with it. It is a historical process that includes the peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, but it has intensified in recent years under the initiative of former U.S. President Donald Trump. In September 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords, mediated by the U.S. government under Trump, which saw an end to their policy of having no diplomatic relationship with Israel. Morocco and Sudan soon followed.

Normalization is in direct violation of the Arab Peace initiative of the Arab League, which established that no member would normalize relations until Israel withdraws from the occupied territories (the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Lebanon), addresses the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN Resolution 194, and establishes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In January 2023, with the growing indignation over continued atrocities by Israel against the Palestinian people, youth from people’s movements and left parties from across the region formed the Arab and Maghreb Youth Student Front Against Normalization and in Support of People’s Causes.

Globetrotter

Globetrotter is an independent international news syndication service for the people of the Global South, publishing a wide range of perspectives.

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