For three decades, a ceasefire and relative peace prevailed in the middle and under the auspices of the United Nations, between Morocco and the Sahrawi Liberation Organization, known as the Front of the “Polisario”, fighting for Western Sahara independence. On Saturday, November 14, 2020 The resumption of the armed struggle to protect the legitimate rights of our people “means the abolition of the ceasefire and the threat of war in an area defined as controversial in North West Africa.
The Polisario announcement came in response to a Moroccan military move that had begun the day before with the aim of securing free trade, which had been disrupted for some time by the Polisario forces, on the access road connecting Morocco and neighboring Mauritania. The Moroccan military move was perceived by the Polisario as illegal, violating the UN-sponsored agreements in 1991 regarding the disputed buffer zone – Guaragura.
The King of Morocco, Muhammad VI, warned on November 16, after talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, that his country remained committed to a ceasefire but would respond with a “very harsh hand” to any attack in the Western Sahara, despite the Polisario declaring war. Will continue until the end of the “occupation”.
Last week, the Moroccan official news agency reported that the army responded to the firing of the Polisario along the buffer zone in which the UN forces were patrolling, causing no damage or casualties. 2,700 km and crosses the Western Sahara.
Background to the conflict
Western Sahara was conquered by Morocco in 1975 after Spanish colonial rule withdrew from the territory. The Polisario Front, a socialist guerrilla movement founded in 1973 with the aim of forcing Spain to liberate Western Sahara and supported by Algeria, began in response to the Moroccan occupation in the war for independence of the ‘Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’, and even declared independence in 1976.
The UN assisted and mediated between the parties that achieved a truce in the battles in 1991, on the understanding that a referendum would be held in which it would be decided whether Western Saharans would choose independence or unification with Morocco. The referendum has not taken place so far, mainly because both sides have not yet decided who is considered indigenous. He was given the right to participate in a vote on the future of the disputed territory, and as a result of the ongoing conflict, Morocco retained about 80 percent of the territory in question, leaving thousands of Sahara displaced people near the town of Tinduf in Algeria.
Negotiations over the disputed territory, with the participation of Morocco, the Polisario, Mauritania and Algeria, have been stalled since 2019 following the UN mediator’s retirement on health grounds. And offer autonomy to the residents of the disputed territory.
The Palestinians are getting into trouble again
Palestinians are known to consistently gamble on the wrong horse, miss opportunities that concern them but interfere in matters not theirs and thus upset Arab leaders. This time, various Palestinian sources have decided to intervene in Morocco’s affairs and issue confused and contradictory messages that irritate the Moroccan authorities, no less.
Earlier this week, the Palestinian embassy in Morocco was forced to shake off a statement of support for the Polisario struggle published by the Palestinian Youth Organization, sparking a crisis between Morocco and the Palestinian Authority.
The embassy claimed that the announcement did not reflect the official position of the Palestinian Authority, which supports the unity and security of Morocco on its soil.
However, last Tuesday, the Palestinian ambassador to Algeria, Amin Makbol, was quoted in an interview with the Algerian newspaper as expressing support for Polisario. He claims that the Palestinian embassy statement in Morocco does not represent the official position of the Palestinian Authority and that the authority has not responded to recent developments in Western Sahara. Ambassador Makbol further clarified that the Palestinians remained committed to the UN resolution to find an agreed political solution to the conflict in Western Sahara, and even expressed hope that “our Moroccan and Algerian brethren will resolve the conflict and live together in peace and tranquility.”
The Moroccan news agency reported that Makbol’s support for Polisario had provoked much outrage among many Moroccans. It was also reported that in the past a public outcry was observed with members of the Polisario, a move perceived by the Moroccans as Palestinian support for the organization.
Last Tuesday, in an attempt to alleviate the tension created, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Ramallah issued a statement stating that the Palestinian Authority does not interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states.
Despite this statement, the Socialist Union Party of the People’s Forces in Morocco sharply criticized the Palestinian Authority because it did not explicitly support the Moroccan people in their “just” struggle on the Polisario front. The Moroccan party said that the “apparent neutrality” of the Palestinians in the conflict was a “poisoned dagger” against Morocco, which had long supported the Palestinian issue and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
The Palestinians are again perceived in their depravity, as forced to do good, hypocritical and liars by their Arab brethren. It is well known that the Palestinians have been interfering for decades in the internal affairs of both near and far Arab states. Although the Arabs have a long-term memory, it would not hurt if the State of Israel with the “short memory” leveraged such policy opportunities to remind Arab countries that: the Palestinians undermined King Hussein’s regime in Jordan until their expulsion from the kingdom following the events of Black September 1970;
The Palestinians undermined the Lebanese regime after being deported there from Jordan and settling in southern Lebanon, among other places, in the Fatahland neighborhood, until they were deported from it to Tunisia towards the end of the First Lebanon War in 1982; Palestinians have expressed ardent support for the Iraqi regime led by dictator Saddam Hussein when it invaded its neighbor Kuwait, unmistakable support even in the long run and alleged condemnation by senior PA officials, as evidenced by a monument erected in Qalqilya in 2017 in memory of Saddam with the caption “Palestinian Palestine” It can be viewed on the ground or on the site of Mamri. In light of the past and conduct of the Palestinians in the Middle East arena so far, it seems that their hand is still tilted in choosing the wrong side of the map.
Through this diplomatic event, Israel can advance and strengthen its relations with Morocco towards the next stage of normalization, in the spirit of peace that is blowing among the moderate Arab states. After all, Israel’s position in relation to Morocco in the context of the essence and significance of the territories recognized as disputed areas and the conduct in them is better.
The Moroccan mouthpiece regarding the right of Palestinian Arabs to territories in the Land of Israel will now be interpreted as nothing less than pathetic. While the composition of the population in Western Sahara that was under Spanish control is mostly barbarian-Saharan alongside an Arab minority, then in the territories of the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria there was a proven Jewish presence for thousands of years. A presence that was renewed when the return of Zion began in modern times, even before the Palestinian people were invented on the basis of a large evening of local clans, nomads and Arab migrant workers, and even before the liberation of the areas in question from the Jordanian occupation in 1967.
Another opportunity is to remind the Arabs, the United Nations and enlightened European leaders that equally long and effective security walls are located in moderate Arab countries in view of the lower level of risk and vulnerability than in Israel. Of Judea and Samaria on Route 6.
Finally, it is better to make clear to anyone who doubts that while the territories of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley are an integral part of the land promised to the people of Israel, as written in all the holy books of monotheistic religions and even in such international decisions of the San Remo Conference Western as a disputed territory, Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula or Turkish Cyprus.