Moroccan political bodies have called for citizens to take part in the largest march in the Morocco's history - "The March to Jerusalem". The march will take place this coming Sunday with activities on Friday as well. The recent mass marches in Rabat have been seen as the prelude to the Jerusalem march events. Plans for the event include a joint forum with students from Jordan and a declaration of a fast day in efforts to show solidarity with Jerusalem.
On Friday, a number of marches will be held simultaneously, leaving from Casablanca, Fes and Meknes. Two days later pro-Palestinian organizations will launch a mass rally in Casablanca expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.
The Moroccan Islamist group Al Adl Wa Al Ihssan (Justice and Charity) called in a statement all the Moroccan people to make Friday March 30 “a day of solidarity and protest in support of Palestine and Jerusalem” by organizing protest marches in all the Moroccan cities.
|Last Sunday's pro-Palestinian march in Rabat|
The Islamic group had organized a massive march for Jerusalem in Rabat last Sunday (25/3) but no political bodies which support the Palestinian issue participated in the march.
Next Sunday's march (1/4) was called for by several political bodies and parties, left-wing and right-wing, in addition to Justice and Development Party, and its ideological wing the Unification and Reform Movement, in order to organize “the largest march in Morocco history to support Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause,” according to Lakom Kam newspaper on Wednesday (28/3). The organisers have picked Casablanca as a starting point due to its huge participation. The march comes as a response to “justice and charity” march which surprised the observers in terms of participants’ numbers and the movement’s ability to organise.
The newspaper stated that the observers are waiting for the government’s reaction and media in dealing with the next march. The government has allowed the Justice and Charity group to organize a huge march for the first time, though it is not licensed to operate yet as a political party, but the official media had totally ignored the march that surprised the observers, the newspaper added.
The march will be in solidarity with other marches around the Arab world. In Lebanon, participants will convene for a prayer session on the Beaufort, which overlooks the border with Israel. Public figures are expected to deliver a speech at the site, with organizers looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of participants.
According to Lebanese reports, security forces held a Turkish vessel carrying activists from Iran, Turkey and other Asian states for long hours. Hezbollah representatives reportedly mediated in efforts to resolve the crisis.
Jordan has set the gathering point at the site where it is believed that Jesus was baptized, a location overlooking Jerusalem. According to plans, this rally will also include speeches and masses of protestors.
Jordanian coordinator of the march, Ribhi Halloum, said: "We feel the immense interest in the event expressed through donations from private individuals and the Islamic Movement."
The Al-Dustour newspaper reported that Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh expressed his readiness to provide the Jordanian government's sponsorship to the march which he said would be non-violent.
While there is no public safety threat, tourists in Morocco are advised to avoid the areas where the marches are taking place.