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The New Arab

Morocco delegation visits Israel despite deadly Gaza crackdown

Morocco is one of several Arab countries with limited official diplomatic relations with Israel [Facebook]

Date of publication: 10 June, 2018

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A Moroccan delegation of civil society organisations has begun a visit to Israel, amid a deadly crackdown against Palestinians.

A Moroccan delegation of civil society organisations has begun a visit to Israel, amid a deadly crackdown against Palestinians.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry made the announcement on Sunday in an Arabic-language statement.

"The 11 person delegation includes engineers, writers and businessman who see the importance of dialogue and communication with their peers in Israel," the statement said.

"The visit will last five days and include meetings with lawmakers in the Knesset and other officials. They are also scheduled to tour a number of cities such as Haifa and Jerusalem, with visits to Islamic sites,"

The statement added that the delegation will meet with Israeli students studying Judeo-Moroccan Arabic - the dialect of the language used by Morocco's Jewish community.

The visit has been condemned back in Morocco as it comes after Israeli troops have killed at least 129 Palestinians since protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30.

"Just denouncing this is no longer sufficient, especially in light of escalating Zionist crimes," activist Khaled al-Sufyani told Moroccan news website Hespress.

"These visits inject life into the filthy entity [Israel] and hamper boycott efforts," Sufyani added.

Morocco is one of several Arab countries with limited official diplomatic relations with Israel.

In 2013, five political parties in Morocco jointly sponsored two bills to outlaw normalisation with Israeli entities.

The proposed law has yet to be passed by authorities.

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