The Algerian press reacted vehemently to Israel’s recognition of the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over Western Sahara, considered “non-autonomous” by the UN. Some titles go so far as to draw a parallel between Moroccan claims to this territory and Israeli colonization in Palestine.
Monday, July 17, the Moroccan authorities announced the receipt by King Mohammed VI of an official letter written by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu. In it, the Hebrew leader announced his intention to recognize Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara and to open a consulate in the city of Dakhla, located in Saharawi territory. The former Spanish colony has been claimed for almost fifty years by Morocco – which de facto controls about 80% of it – when a large part of the Sahrawis are demanding their independence.
The daily The Evening of Algeria does not even mention the reception of the Israeli missive by Rabat. He prefers to relay a dispatch from the Algerian press agency APS notably giving the floor to a senior official of the Polisario Front, a political and armed movement whose objective is the independence of the Sahara. The diplomat Oubi Bouchraya Bachir thus denounces “heinous and systematic violations of human rights” in the towns held by Morocco, all “in the face of the deafening silence of the international community”.
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Before Israel, the United States was the first to recognize the “Moroccanness” of Western Sahara, in December 2020, under the presidency of Donald Trump. In March 2022, the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, also supported the “Moroccan autonomy plan” for Western Sahara, causing a diplomatic quarrel with Algiers.