African Lion 23 | Members of the Israeli Armed Forces take part in drills on Moroccan soil for the first time
Defence Redefined
Published on 07/06/2023 at 19:46

Members of the Israeli Armed Forces will take part in drills on Moroccan soil for the first time at the international exercise “African Lion 2023”, the largest on the African continent, which kicked off yesterday, according to the Israeli Army’s General Staff.

A delegation of 12 soldiers and officers of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion departed last Sunday from Israel for the exercise “African Lion 2023”, according to a press release released on Monday.

It is the first time that the Israeli Army has actively participated in this international exercise on Moroccan soil, according to the text. The Golani Battalion is an elite Infantry unit, often involved in operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For the 19th exercise “African Lion 2023”, co-organized by Morocco and the US, almost 8,000 military personnel from 18 countries will be mobilized until June 16.

During the first two weeks, the soldiers will focus on training in various combat situations, combining urban guerrilla warfare and underground warfare, and will conclude with joint drills with all participating armies, the press release clarifies.

Israel had participated in “African Lion 2023” in 2022, but only at the level of military observers, without deploying military personnel in the field. According to the General Staff of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, this year’s drills will be held in seven sectors of the Maghreb area.

They will include operational planning and WMD response exercises, tactical land maneuvers, maritime maneuvers, air exercises, special forces deployment, and airborne forces exercises.

Morocco and Israel have been quick to expand their cooperation at the military level, at the security level, in trade, in tourism, since they smoothed out their relations in December 2022, in the framework of the so-called Abraham Accords, a process of rapprochement between Israel and Arab states with the support of the US.

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In return, Rabat secured from Washington the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty on the territory of Western Sahara, where it is facing the Polisario Front, which is fighting for independence and is supported by Algiers.

After the Israeli Minister of Transport, Miri Regev, President of Knesset, of the Israeli Parliament, Amir Ohana, is expected today Wednesday in Morocco for a historic visit, the first he will make as head of the Israeli national delegation, at the invitation of his counterpart Rashid Talbi El Alami. Mr. Ohana, former Minister of the Interior Security of Israel, a member of Likud, the right-wing party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is of Moroccan origin.

However, the broad approach of the two states is facing resistance, at least as far as public opinion is concerned, especially since a right-wing-far-right-ultra-Orthodox Jewish coalition government came to power in Israel, which opposes any resumption of talks with the Palestinians.

Although the mobilization has de-escalated markedly in the kingdom, the Palestinian cause continues to be treated with great sympathy by the Moroccan population.

Source: APA MPA

Also read: China | Willing to mediate to reach an Israeli – Palestinian agreement




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