Israeli Army Chief in Morocco to Sell Weapons, Cement Normalization

A file photo of a US-Israeli delegation's visit to Morocco in December 2020. (Photo: US Embassy Jerusalem, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The Israeli army chief is reportedly on a visit to Morocco starting Monday, in what is considered the highest-profile military engagement between Israel and the North African Arab country. 

Despite years of open and discreet engagements, both countries formalized their diplomatic ties in 2020 following intense US campaigning. 

“Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi’s trip has been showcased by Israel as part of emerging defense cooperation with the North African country,” Reuters reported. 

A spokesman for the Israeli military, Brigadier-General Ran Kochav told the Israeli Ynet TV that,

“one of the subjects that will be discussed (in Morocco) this week will be knowledge-sharing, training – the ability to train together in joint maneuvers – weapons development, the transfer of know-how and perhaps also of weaponry.” 

Reuters cited an Israeli media report, published in the business newspaper Globes last February, stating that state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries would sell Morocco the Barak air and missile defense system in a $500 million deal, though neither country, nor the company, have publicly confirmed that.

Amnesty International had stated that Morocco had obtained the infamous Israeli spyware, Pegasus, which is used to monitor human rights activists and journalists. Rabat denied the allegation. 

The Morocco-Israeli normalization followed similar US-sponsored initiatives, involving UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. These efforts, which have been strongly condemned by Palestinians, are part of what is dubbed the “Abraham Accords”.

“Israel and Morocco established low-level relations in the 1990s but these had been suspended after a Palestinian uprising against Israel erupted in 2000. The upgrade of ties in 2020, which remains short of full normalization, has brought direct flights between the countries and a range of bilateral deals,” Reuters reported. 

(PC, Agencies, Social Media)

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