The Moroccan government on Monday deployed a heavy presence of police and security forces in the capital Rabat, equipped with anti-riot gear and water cannons, ahead of a planned sit-in by residents protesting the recent normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel. Officers prevented demonstrators from reaching the city’s main avenue and parliament square, citing coronavirus concerns and saying the rally was never authorized by officials, yet protest organizers claimed an opposite gathering of the deal’s supporters was allowed just the day before. Morocco’s agreement to make diplomatic relations with Israel official was announced last week by US President Donald Trump, making it the fourth Arab country to do so in as many months. In an apparent quid pro quo, President Trump simultaneously revealed the US would officially recognize the territory of Western Sahara, annexed by Rabat in a move condemned by most countries, as Moroccan land. The administration also agreed to sell $1 billion worth of arms, including advanced drones, to Morocco.