To take part in the multinational “African Lion 2023” military exercise, a squad of 12 Israeli troops and commanders left for Morocco on Sunday.
The Israel Defense Forces joined the two-week exercise last year as an international military observer, but this is the first time they have actively engaged.
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and the United States Army jointly organized the 19th edition of the yearly event, which includes 8,000 servicemen from 18 nations.
Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, head of the US Africa Command, stated,
“Our collective ability to bring like-minded nations together for an exercise like this is extremely extraordinary.
African Lion, one of the biggest US exercises worldwide, serves as the focal point of AFRICOM’s exercise plan.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) states that the Israeli forces “will focus on practicing various combat challenges that combine urban infantry warfare and underground warfare,
in which they specialize, and will conclude the training in a common exercise for all armies.”
The seven areas of the north African nation—Tan Tan, Mehbes, Tiznit, Kenitra, Ben Guerir, and Tifnit—are all represented in the festival, which began on Sunday and goes through June 16.
As part of the Abraham Accords, Israel and Morocco restored diplomatic ties on December 10, 2020, making Morocco the second African nation after Egypt in 1978 to do so.
On Wednesday, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana was due to go to Rabat for a formal visit to the Moroccan Parliament. Ohana, a member of Israel’s ruling Likud Party, is the first speaker of the Knesset to be granted a state visit to a Muslim nation’s legislature.
His parents arrived in Israel in the 1950s after leaving their native Morocco.
“History is being made before our very eyes, and it heralds the strengthening of the relationship between the two countries, up greater closeness between the nations, and expanding the circle of peace,” declared Ohana.