Knesset Speaker Ohana: The Occupied Western Sahara is Moroccan

Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (Likud), currently visiting the Kingdom of Morocco, has clearly expressed his recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara occupied territory. During a press conference following a meeting, Thursday in Rabat, with the president of the house of representatives, Rachid Talbi Alami, Ohana had these words: “The Sahara is Moroccan”

According the Hebrew media, the Israeli far-right government is considering recognizing Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony was occupied by Morocco in 1975 and has significant offshore oil reserves and mineral resources. Its indigenous population has fiercely rejected Moroccan control, however, and between 1975 and 1991, the Polisario Front fought an insurgency against Rabat’s presence.

Polisario has repeatedly accused Morocco of exploiting the region’s natural resources while half of its population awaits a referendum in refugee camps and in exile. 

The Golani unit soldiers, holding both the Israeli flag and their unit’s flag in Morocco (Photo: IDF)

Last week, Israeli National Security Adviser and leading Likud member, Tzachi Hanegbi was in Morocco and met on Wednesday with Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, and top security officials. The two sides discussed strengthening cooperation in foreign affairs and defense, the Prime Minister’s Office said. Now, Knesset Speaker is visiting the country while an Israeli army elite unit is participating in the ongoing annual African Lion exercise organized by Morocco and the United States to reinforce imperialist hegemony in the region.

A delegation of 12 fighters and commanders from the Israeli infantry brigade Golani is currently taking place in the African Lion 2023 military drill in Morocco, marking Israel’s first-ever participation, in the US Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) largest annual combined, joint exercise. African Lion 2023 started on May 13th and will end on June 18th, taking place in Ghana, Senegal and Tunisia, in addition to Morocco. Eighteen nations and approximately 8,000 will have taken part in the exercise by the time it is done.

The Golani soldiers will remain in Morocco for two weeks, during which they will “focus on practicing various combat challenges that combine urban infantry warfare and underground warfare in which they specialize, and will conclude the training in a joint exercise for all armies,” according to the official Israeli army statement. “The purpose of the exercise is to strengthen the relationships between the countries, and to create a mutual learning opportunity amongst armies,” the statement concluded.