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Israeli military to participate in 'African Lion' multinational military drill in Morocco for first time

U.S. marines, soldiers and Tunisian Armed Forces at a rehearsal for a live-fire exercise as part of "African Lion" 2022 (Photo: U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs)

The Israel Defense Forces will take part for the first time in the multinational “African Lion” military exercise in Morocco. The two-week drill involves around 8,000 troops from 18 countries, including Morocco, the United States, Israel and Ghana. The Israeli delegation consists of 12 IDF soldiers and their accompanying commander. 

The purpose of the drill is to jointly practice combat challenges in urban and underground environments, experience which the Jewish state has already faced during extensive and specialized combat situations.

On a strategic level, an IDF spokesperson confirmed that the exercise is designed to strengthen the ties between the different militaries. 

Morocco and Israel have quickly developed close military bilateral ties since the two countries established full diplomatic relations in 2020. 

In late 2021, Morocco and Israel signed a historic defense agreement, the first of its kind between the Jewish state and a Muslim Arab country. Former Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who signed the bilateral agreement during his trip to Morocco, stressed the importance of Israeli-Moroccan military cooperation. 

“We have just signed a defense cooperation MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] with Morocco. It is a very significant development, which will enable us to work on joint projects and promote industrial cooperation,” Gantz said, adding that “relations between Israel and Morocco should be expanded and enhanced.”

In June 2022, Israel was invited for the first time to experience, as an observer, the American-led military exercise dubbed “African Lion 2022” in Morocco. Later that same year, former IDF Chief of Staff Avi Kochavi made history by becoming the first Israeli army chief to make an official visit to the North African country. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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