Netanyahu during the interview on French TV
Netanyahu during the interview on French TVPrime Minister's Office

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caused an uproar on Thursday after he inadvertently presented, during an interview with French television, a map which excluded the region of Western Sahara from Moroccan territory.

Israel formally recognized Morocco's sovereignty over the territory of Western Sahara in July of 2023, following in the footsteps of the United States.

Then-US President Donald Trump agreed to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara as part of the 2020 deal in which Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel. The United States later adopted a new official map of Morocco that includes Western Sahara.

The incident during Netanyahu's interview caused dismay and complaints from users on social media, who condemned the Israeli conduct.

Users in Algeria, which backs the Polisario Front which wants an independent state in the Western Sahara, mocked Morocco over what appeared to be Netanyahu not including the region as part of territory of the kingdom.

Hassan Kaabia, the Foreign Ministry spokesman for Arab media, responded to the uproar and clarified in a post on social media site X that it was an unintentional mistake.

"Due to an unintentional mistake, a major media uproar arose regarding the map used by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu - which shows the map of Morocco without its Sahara," Kaabia wrote.

“We also apologize for this technical error. Israel and Morocco are brothers and sisters, and we will not back down from our historical recognition of” the Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, he added.