Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has traveled to Morocco to “establish” a security agreement between the two countries.
The two-day visit, starting on Tuesday, comes less than a year after Morocco established good relations with Israel in an alliance led by former US President Donald Trump.
In response, Washington recognized the North African monarchy over the controversy part of Western Sahara.
Gantz, Israel’s first security minister to visit Morocco, has signed a “treaty agreement that will outline security agreements between the two countries,” his office said.
The trip is aimed at “laying the groundwork for future security agreements between Israel and Morocco,” said a source close to the trip.
“So far there has been a consensus, this is really establishing,” the source said.
Morocco dominates much of Western Sahara and sees the former Spain as a part of its sovereign state.
Tensions have risen between Morocco and Algeria, allied with the Western Sahara Polisario Front.
Algeria cut ties with Morocco in August over “disgusting things” – a charge Rabat has filed.
Earlier this month, Algiers accused Morocco of killing three Algerian civilians on a desert highway, sparking fears.
Police Chief Brahim Ghali said last week the group had decided to increase military operations.
A time of ‘unforeseen occurrence’
Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, an Israeli expert in Morocco, said Gantz ‘visit and signing of the agreement did not happen by accident.
“It is possible that during the conflict between Morocco and Algeria, the Moroccans were the ones who were most interested in this,” he said.
“It seems to me that the Moroccans are interested in showing everyone – in their group, their Algerian rivals, in the West – that they are developing their relationship with Israel,” said a professor at Tel Aviv University.
Morocco and Israel established relations in 1993, but Rabat cut them off at the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000.
Rabat established a good relationship with Israel last December, having just announced similar deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
‘The benefits of recalibrating’
The US-led actions contributed to political, social and economic cooperation.
Last month, Ratio Petroleum of Israel announced an agreement with Rabat on “investigative activities” in Dakhla in Western Sahara.
The Israeli Ministry of Defense oversees all exports, while the Jewish government provides the most up-to-date material from rebel drones to the Iron Dome.
One thing for Israel, Pegasus NSO spy software, has already passed in Morocco, according to Amnesty International and the Paris organization Forbidden Stories.
A Gantz spokesman did not comment on the NSO or other security technologies that needed to be discussed during the visit.
Pegasus software is said to have also been found on the phones of Palestinian officials.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to mobilize the people, Muslims and the left in Morocco, calling for a November 29 protest against “Israeli repercussions” and support for Palestinians.
According to Maddy-Weitzman, while Rabat did not give up because of Palestine, “there are many other interests in the game, many more benefits that can be achieved in reform”.
“Many countries in the region do not want to be caught in the crossfire, they want to do what they want, and at this point Israel obviously has a lot to offer,” he said. he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Monday for Morocco’s view of Western Sahara, showing new support despite growing regional divisions with Algeria.
Blinken also said that we continue to see Morocco’s policy of independence as a comprehensive, reliable and transparent system, and one way to meet the needs of the people of Western Sahara, “said State Department spokesman Ned Price.