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Israel joins African military exercises in Morocco

June 6, 2023 at 9:41 am

12 Israeli soldiers and officers from the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion are taking part in the African Lion 2023 military exercise in Morocco between 6-16 June 2023 for the first time [@idfonline/Twitter]

The Israeli army is participating in the African Lion 2023 military manoeuvres in Morocco for the first time.

The Israeli army spokesman announced in a statement that a number of its soldiers will “actively” participate in the military manoeuvres which are considered the largest in Africa.

According to the Israeli military spokesman: “a delegation of 12 soldiers and officers from the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion left Israel on Sunday, to participate in the African Lion 2023 manoeuvres in Morocco.”

“This is the first time that the Israeli army has actively participated in these international manoeuvres on Moroccan soil,” the statement added.

In its statement, the Israeli army pointed out that “in the next two weeks, our soldiers will focus on training in various combat situations that combine guerrilla warfare in cities and underground warfare and will conclude with joint training for all participating armies.”

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The 19th edition of the African Lion military exercises, jointly organised annually by Morocco and the US, begin today and last ten days. Nearly 8,000 soldiers are expected to participate from 18 countries.

Last year, the Israeli army participated in the African Lion, but only at the level of international military observers, meaning its soldiers did not partake in the exercises.

The Moroccan Inspector General stated that the manoeuvres this year include “land, sea, air and joint tactical exercises, day and night, a joint exercise for special forces, airborne operations, a field military hospital that provides surgical-medical services for the population, and exercises to combat weapons of mass destruction.”

Morocco and Israel have been working to fast-track their cooperation on the military, security, trade and tourism levels since they agreed to normalise relations in December 2020.