FILE PICTURE. Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid shakes hands with his Moroccan counterpart, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, during the hosting of the ‘Negev Summit’ in the presence of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and officials Foreign Ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt in Sde Boker, Israel. March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

RABAT, March 13 (Reuters) – Morocco’s royal palace on Monday called on the largest Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD), to stop targeting the country’s ties with Israel, after the formation accused the Minister of Foreign Affairs of having defended Israel to the detriment of the Palestinians.

The upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians poses a challenge to Arab countries that have normalized their relations with Israel.

Morocco resumed diplomatic relations with Israel in late 2020 following a deal brokered by Donald Trump’s US government that also included Washington’s recognition of Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, a disputed territory where the Polisario Front , backed by Algeria, seeks to establish its own state.

“The Secretary General condemns the recent position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in which he seems to defend the Zionist entity, (…) at a time when the Israeli occupation continues its criminal aggression against our Palestinian brothers”, declared the PJD in a statement. .. communicated last week.

The royal palace claimed that foreign policy was the king’s prerogative and that he would not be “blackmailed”.

Since the resumption of relations, Morocco and Israel have signed cooperation agreements, including a defense pact.

Morocco’s official position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in favor of a two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

(Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Spanish edited by Benjamín Mejías Valencia)

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