Moroccan activists demand gov’t action on Israel arms shipment

An activist group in Morocco urged the government to block a Japanese-owned cargo ship, Vertom Odette, suspected of transporting weapons to Israel from passing through its territorial waters.

Sailing under the flag of Luxembourg, the commercial ship departed from India on April 18 and is set to arrive at the Spanish port of Cartagena on Wednesday, according to the Moroccan Front for Supporting Palestine and Opposing Normalization, the National News reported on Tuesday.

To enter the Mediterranean, ships traveling east from the Atlantic must pass through the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Spain and Morocco.

In a letter to the government, the group voiced concern that the ship was transporting a shipment of weapons destined for Israel, and urged the government to act rapidly to prevent what it described as the implication of Morocco “in war crimes.”

“The aim of this letter is to avoid the involvement of Moroccan authorities, before the eyes of the world and international law, in accusations relating to complicity in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the group said.

It aded: “The International Court of Justice’s recent decision stated that the occupying state must desist and be careful not to commit any act of genocide against the Palestinians. This decision makes every government that supplies Israel with weapons vulnerable to accusation of complicity in this genocide.”

Hundreds of people have also posted online to call on authorities to undertake all necessary measures to bar the Vertom Odette ship from entering Moroccan waters and to make sure that it does not reach Israel.

Many countries across the world witnessed demonstrations that protested Israel’s war on Gaza.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas attack despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 36,500 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and nearly 83,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nearly eight months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge.

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