Libyan local officials reject Israel normalization

Mohammad Ayesh

Middle East Eye  /  September 2, 2023

Libyan municipalities reject Israel normalization.

Local government officials across Libya have affirmed their rejection of normalization, following a controversial meeting held between the Libyan foreign minister and her Israeli counterpart. 

The municipal officials issued a video statement, stating: “We adhere to our national principles and reject any kind of normalization with the criminal Zionist entity”, according to a report published in the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper on Thursday.

They also expressed “full solidarity with the Palestinian people and support for their just cause”. 

The municipalities’ move followed angry reactions against the meeting of Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush with her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, in Rome two weeks ago. The meeting between the ministers was a first for the two countries. 

Libya and Israel have no official ties, and the meeting sparked protests in Tripoli and other cities in the country. Protesters were seen waving Palestinian flags and blocking roads.

Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba dismissed Mangoush from her post earlier this week, days after she was suspended and fled the country to Turkey.

A law dating back to 1957 prohibits Libyans from concluding agreements of any kind with bodies or individuals based in Israel, or working with people on Israel’s behalf.

Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist based in London