Algerian Lawmakers Submit Bill to Criminalize Ties With Israel

Algerian lawmakers have submitted a bill which would criminalize establishment of relations with Israel and prohibit travel to the occupied territories or any direct or indirect contact with Israeli officials.

A lawmaker from the Movement of Society for Peace, Youssef Ajesa said on Tuesday that he had “lodged the bill on behalf of his party’s group of deputies (65 out of 462) to the legislative body.”

“his parliamentary bloc tried to include other groups to contribute to the bill, but it did not receive a response, so I took the initiative to present it in its name,” he said.

The bill includes seven articles, which aim to “criminalize normalization with the Zionist entity (Israel)” as well as forbidding any contacts with Israeli authorities or traveling to and from the Israeli-occupied lands.

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A simple majority (50+1) of the People’s National Assembly (Lower Chamber) is required to approve the bill, and refer it later to the Council of the Nation (Upper Chamber).

Algeria has been one of the few Arab states to maintain a pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist stance. Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra has repeatedly said that Arab countries should support the Palestinian people instead of supporting Israel’s expansion in the region.

Last December, Lamamra warned of the deterioration of relations between Algiers and Rabat amid the increasing military cooperation between Morocco and Israel.

“The Morocco-Israeli military alliance will affect whole of the North African region,” Lamamra said on December 3 last year in a press statement on the sidelines of the 8th high-level symposium on peace and security organized by the African Union in Algeria’s northwestern coastal city of Oran.

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The top Algerian diplomat said the normalization of ties with Israel is an “irresponsible” decision that sacrifices the people of the North African region and deprives them of their inalienable rights.

Under the so-called Abraham Accords, Morocco became the fourth Arab country in 2020 to reach a normalization agreement with the Israeli regime after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, in what has been strongly denounced by Palestinians as a “betrayal” of their cause.

Morocco’s decision to normalize ties with Israel came after former US president Donald Trump recognized the North African country’s “sovereignty” over Western Sahara, which has been at the center of a decades-old territorial row between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

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The Algerian foreign ministry later rejected Trump’s stance, saying the US decision “has no legal effect because it contradicts UN resolutions, especially UN Security Council resolutions on Western Sahara.”

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