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Royal Moroccan Air Force

First time an Air Force plane from any North African country has ever landed in Israel.

By United With Israel Staff

A Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) plane landed at Israel’s Hatzor Air Base on Sunday, highlighting expanding ties between the Arab world and the Jewish state. It was the first time an air force craft from a North African country has ever landed in Israel.

The Hercules C-130 cargo plane, was noticed by amateur radar watchers who use public tracking software.

According to Israel’s Walla news site, the RMAF plane arrived ahead of a joint military exercise scheduled for later this month with the U.S. and other countries.

The IDF wouldn’t confirm the reports. In a statement, the military said, “The IDF cooperates with a variety of foreign nations and militaries, while carrying out exercises, high-level meetings, and joint research and development [projects]. We will not comment on cooperation with a specific country.”

Morocco joined the Abraham Accords in December. It is the only Arab country to teach Jewish history and culture. Casablanca’s Museum of Moroccan Judaism is the only Jewish museum in the Arab world.

In June, King Mohammed VI called to congratulate Naftali Bennett after he became Prime Minister.

Following the Oslo agreements of 1994, Israel and Morocco set up liason offices. But those offices were closed in 2000 when Morocco severed ties with Israel during the Second Intifada. Moroccan interests in Israel are represented in a Tel Aviv liason office, which was reopened in February.

In 1948, Morocco was home to more than 250,000 Jews. Riots targeting Jews broke out during Israel’s founding and most of the Jewish community fled. By 2019, Morocco’s Jewish population dwindled down to approximately 2,100. In Israel, an estimated one million Jews are of Moroccan descent.

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