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Morocco cancels Arab-Israeli Negev Summit in July in protest of Israel’s settlement expansion

The North African country was slated to host the summit in March but it was delayed amid growing unrest in the West Bank

Top officials of Israel, the US, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt hold its steering committee meeting in Manama, Bahrain, June 27, 2022 (Photo: Israeli Foreign Ministry)

Morocco has reportedly canceled the Arab-Israeli Negev Summit in July to protest the recent Israeli announcement about the construction of more than 4,500 new Jewish homes in the contested West Bank.

The high-level diplomatic meeting was a follow-up gathering to last summer's Negev Summit in Bahrain, where the United States and Israel met with diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt.

Morocco was scheduled to host the July summit, which was intended to continue the expansion of Arab-Israeli regional ties, following the signing of the historic Arab-Israeli Abraham Accords in 2020.

Israeli and American officials have reportedly confirmed Morocco’s decision to cancel the gathering.

The Jewish state hosted the first Negev Summit in March 2022 foreign ministers from Israel, the U.S. and the four Muslim nations. At the time, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan had declined to attend because of ongoing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Negev Summit in Morocco was first slated to be held this March but was delayed amid growing unrest in the West Bank. In addition, the Arab nations have reportedly become increasingly uncomfortable with the Netanyahu-led government’s policies.

The Arab world has recently become particularly troubled by the Israeli government's latest announcement regarding settlement expansion plans, as well as the increased level of violence in the disputed territories.

Since the re-establishment of official ties in 2020, Morocco has shown a clear interest in expanding their diplomatic, military, scientific and commercial ties with Israel.

Moroccan Jews in Israel and Morocco have formed a strong informal bridge between the two countries and many Israeli tourists have already visited the North African country. Earlier in June, IDF troops participated for the first time in the multinational “African Lion” military exercise in Morocco.

The expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria complicates Morocco's ties with the State of Israel, which comes amid reports that Israel is considering recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara territory.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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