On Tuesday, the Moroccan freedom fighter Mohamed Ben Said Ait Ider, who is considered a symbol of the resistance against French colonialism and the last member of the Liberation Army, died. While the deceased was known for his steadfast positions in support of the Palestinian issue, considering it a national issue for all Moroccans.
On Tuesday, the Moroccan resistance fighter and leftist activist Mohamed Bensaid Ait Ider died. He is considered a symbol of resistance against French colonialism and the last member of the country’s liberation army, according to what was announced in the statement of the “Unified Socialist” Party, which Ben Said founded and under which he assumed its honorary presidency.
The party’s statement said: “With hearts overwhelmed by sorrow and pain the Political Bureau of the Unified Socialist Party mourns to all the Moroccan people the leader of the National Resistance, the great freedom fighter, Comrade Mohamed Bensaid Ait Ider.”
He added: “With the loss of (Bensaid Ait Ider), the Moroccan nation and people, along with the party and all the forces of the left, lose one of the country’s top men and its top fighters, and the last of the leaders of the proud resistance and leaders of the national movement. The departure of the deceased is a loss for the country and the people.”
In turn, the leader of the “Unified Socialist” Party and the parliamentary representative, Nabila Mounib, mourned the deceased, saying: “Farewell, you proud, humble and honest fighter who carried the concerns of his country and his people with the passion of lovers, and with the determination of those who were certain,He (Bensaid) had the values of the ascetics and behaved with the morals of the pure and knowledgeable.” And he inspired generations and generations of honest fighters and men.”
In addition to this, Ben Said Ait Ider was famous for his active political path for democracy and social justice, and for establishing a number of parties that defended these issues. He also greatly supported the Palestinian issue, which he considered a national issue, and his opposition to normalization in all its forms.
Anti-colonial resistance and political activist
Mohamed Bensaid Ait Ider was born in 1925, in the village of Tinmansour in the Chtouka Ait Baha province, southern Morocco. He spent his childhood as an orphan, after losing his mother when he was six years old. Like any Moroccan child in that era, the deceased studied during his initial education in the Qur’anic book in his village, after which he moved to the “Ben Youssef” school in Marrakesh, according to what he indicates in his memoirs entitled “Thus Spoke Ben Said.”
During his stay in Marrakesh, Bensaid Ait Ider joined the ranks of the Moroccan national resistance movement against French colonialism. He met a number of resistance men at that time, led by the resistance and fighter Mahdi Ben Barka.
Mohamed Bensaid Ait Ider was one of those calling for the necessity of using weapons to resist colonialism, and he called for this in a number of articles that he published at the time in national newspapers. Moreover, the deceased participated in the leadership of the Moroccan Liberation Army and the formation of resistance cells, until he assumed the position of political official for the leadership of the Liberation Army in the south.
Following the country’s independence, Ben Said found himself in the middle of the internal political strife that characterized that period. He was one of those who adhered to the necessity of the Liberation Army remaining until the liberation of Moroccan territory was completed, while the Crown Prince at the time, the late Hassan II, saw the necessity of dismantling that army and integrating it into the regular army.
This dispute paid the price for Ben Said by being arrested in 1960 and then in 1963. He left for exile in Algeria, and a death sentence was issued against him in absentia in 1964. He then moved to France, and joined the “23 March” organization with a Marxist-Leninist orientation.
In 1981, Bensaid Ait Ider returned to Morocco, after receiving a royal pardon for the sentence issued against him. He remained “loyal to his leftist orientation and opposition position,” as he founded the Democratic Action Organization party in 1983, and a year later he was elected as a parliamentary representative, beginning a struggle within the institutions.
The “Democratic Action Organization” party contributed to the establishment of the Democratic Bloc in 1992, and despite the split it subsequently suffered, the party merged with other leftist movements, ending with the founding of the “Unified Socialist Left” party in 2002, and Bensaid assumed its honorary presidency. In 2007, the party entered the “Federal Democratic Left” coalition, along with the “Social Democratic Vanguard” Party and the “Federal National Congress” Party.
In 2015, Moroccan King Mohammed VI awarded Mohamed Bensaïd Ait Ider with a royal medal of the rank of “Grand Herald,” in recognition of his political and militant path. This medal is the fourth in the classification of Moroccan royal decorations, and it is awarded to reward people who have provided distinguished services of a civil or military nature.
A great supporter of the Palestinian cause
Mohamed Bensaid Ait Ider is attested to his great support for the Palestinian cause, and the Moroccan “Progress and Socialism” Party’s statement of the deceased indicated that “he was one of the symbols recognized for supporting the just causes of the peoples, at the forefront of which is the cause of the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist occupation.”
The deceased strongly opposed the Moroccan government’s decision to normalize relations with Israel, in 2020, and at that time sent an appeal to the Moroccan people calling on them to reject all forms of normalization. Ben Said Ait Ider said: “The resistance led by the united Palestinian factions is the rock on which the boats of normalization will break.”
In a speech he delivered during an anti-normalization conference in 2022, Bensaid Ait Ider said: “Mobilizing material and moral support for the Palestinian people and their institutions is necessary at this critical moment to confront the waves of normalization, which ignores the reality of neglect that the Palestinian people are suffering from, and also ignores the various war crimes they are committing.” Zionist entity.”
Emphasizing his commitment to the conviction of the Moroccan people in “this decisive historical moment,” which considers “the Palestinian issue a national issue for the Moroccan people and their living forces.” Stressing that “strengthening solidarity at the Moroccan and Arab levels is sufficient to confront the paths of normalization with the usurping Zionist enemy.”
Algeria and Tunisia commemorate the “French massacre” that mixed the blood of their people
Algeria: Algeria and Tunisia commemorated, on Thursday, the 66th anniversary of the “Saqia Sidi Youssef” massacre, which was committed by French colonialism, and left victims of children and women from both countries.
A statement by the Algerian Ministry of the Interior stated that Minister Ibrahim Murad and Minister of Mujahideen (veterans) Eid Rabeka, accompanied by a Tunisian ministerial delegation, led by Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Abdel Moneim Belaati, supervised the celebration of the activities of this occasion.
The Ministry indicated that the commemoration activities took place in the municipality of Saqia Sidi Youssef, affiliated with the Kef Governorate, the Tunisian border.
On February 8, 1958, the town of Saqia Sidi Youssef was subjected to a French air bombardment in which Paris used 26 warplanes, leaving about 100 Tunisian civilians and Algerian refugees martyred, in addition to 150 wounded.
According to historical references, Saqia Sidi Youssef was considered a transit and stopping area for the Algerian Liberation Army during the revolution against French colonialism (1954-1962), which prompted the French army to commit this massacre as a retaliatory reaction.
In the same context, the Algerian Minister of Interior said, in his speech during the occasion, “This anniversary remains a witness that Sidi Youssef Sakia formed a strong military and logistical support for the National Liberation Army.”
The events of Saqia Sidi Youssef are always described by the two countries as “the moment when Algerian blood mixed with Tunisian blood in the struggle against French colonialism,” according to the same statement.
The anniversary of this massacre is commemorated annually by the two countries, which develop a joint program for the development of their border areas.