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June 7, 2021 4:13 pm
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Israeli Foreign Ministry Calls Claim Ambassador to Morocco Was Denied Housing Amid Protest Campaign ‘Fake News’

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

King Mohammed VI of Morocco visiting the synagogue at the Bayt Dakira Jewish heritage center. Photo: Official handout.

Amid a Moroccan social media campaign calling for the expulsion of Israeli Ambassador to Morocco David Govrin, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rebuffed claims that he has been denied access to a residence in the country.

Earlier this year, Govrin launched the Israeli representation in the capital of Rabat after the two countries agreed in December to resume diplomatic ties. Following a normalization agreement brokered by the United States, Israeli airline Israir announced this month the relaunch of direct flights to Marrakesh, starting in July.

In protest of the the latest round of hostilities between Israel and the Hamas militant group, pro-Palestinian groups in Morocco are taking to social media platforms to call for Govrin’s expulsion. They  claimed in posts on Twitter and Facebook that Moroccans have allegedly refused to rent an apartment or office to the Israeli diplomat since his arrival, forcing him to stay in a hotel.

In response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry told The Algemeiner that “this is no more than fake news,” and said that Govrin is staying in a hotel while the ministry prepares the move to the temporary location of the Israeli office in Rabat.

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Additionally, activists followed Govrin’s social media accounts, and identified the places he visited based on the pictures which were uploaded. They then appear to have visited the same locations to post pictures of “cleaning” the sites he visited and hanging Palestinian flags using the hashtag in Arabic “expel the representative of the occupation power.”

Morocco has a rich Jewish history as it was home to one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East for centuries until Israel’s founding in 1948. As Jews fled or were expelled from many Arab countries, an estimated quarter of a million left Morocco for Israel from 1948-1964.

Under the so-called Abraham Accords, brokered by the US, Israel agreed to normalize ties with other Arab countries over the past year, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan.

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