Israel hosts Moroccan military chief in historic first - Maccabee Task Force

Public visit to the Jewish state by Lieutenant General Belkhir El-Farouk is first by head of an Arab military

In a sign of a changing Middle East, a Moroccan military leader was given an official reception in Israel on Tuesday.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi led an honor guard in Tel Aviv welcoming Lieutenant General Belkhir el-Farouk, inspector general of Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces, upon his arrival for an international military conference.

It marked the first time that the head of the military of an Arab country conducted a public visit to the Jewish state.

El-Farouk will take part in the International Operational Innovation Conference hosted by Israel’s army. Delegations from 25 different nations will attend.

“It will lay the foundations for solid cooperation in the field of multi-dimensional defense and military renewal,” Israel’s army said in a statement.

Morocco and Israel normalized relations nearly two years ago as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. Since then, cooperation agreements were signed in various fields.

Defense is an essential component of that partnership as displayed by a visit of Kochavi to the north African state last July.

Read more: