Israel to sign historic first security agreement with an Arab state

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to Morocco late November to sign the security cooperation agreements. 

By World Israel News staff

Israel is set to sign a security co-operation agreement with Morocco later this month, marking the first time such an agreement will have been signed between the Jewish state and an Arab state.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to visit Morocco’s capital, Rabat, on November 24 and 25, where he will sign the bilateral agreements along with his Moroccan counterpart, Reuters has reported. The agreements are likely to include provisions for Morocco to acquire military hardware from Israel, and for the two countries to openly hold joint training exercises.

It is thought that Morocco is amenable to the agreements due to rising tensions with its neighbor, Algeria. The latter formally broke off diplomatic ties with Morocco in August, citing last year’s Abraham Accord normalization deal with Israel as one of a number of alleged hostile acts, according to Hebrew media.

Morocco was one of four Arab nations to enter in to the U.S. brokered Accords with Israel last year, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and later Sudan.

Gantz’s visit to the country follows that of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who visited in August to sign three agreements.

Lapid and Nasser Bourita, his Moroccan counterpart, signed off on an air service agreement between the North African kingdom and the state of Israel and an agreement to cooperate in the fields of culture, sports and youth.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a political consultation mechanism between their countries’ foreign ministries.

In October, a more than 10-year travel warning against Israelis going to Morocco was canceled. The National Security Council said that its staff made the decision after carefully assessing the security situation and deeming that the estimated level of threat in Morocco for Israelis had decreased. Nonetheless, the council did recommend that travelers “exercise increased vigilance” while visiting the country.

The announcement came one day after Israel signed a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

Prior to Israel’s founding in 1948, Morocco boasted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish Communities in the Maghreb and the Middle East. Some quarter of a million Jews are believed to have left Morocco for Israel between 1948 and 1964. Today, a mere estimated 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco.


Associate Press contributed to this report.