Morocco acquires $ 22 million ‘suicide’ drones from Israel

The armament company Israel Aerospace Industriesstate-owned, will supply Morocco with attack drones known as ‘kamikaze’ worth $ 22 million in the first military agreement of this nature between the two countries, as reported on Tuesday by the newspaper Haaretz, just days after Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny gantz, will visit Rabat on November 24.

The agreement also provides for the manufacture of the ‘Harop class suicide drone in Morocco, as reported Africa Intelligence, although the newspaper Haaretz It could not confirm this point as Israel Aerospace Industries declined to comment.

It is a drone capable of locating a target, launching itself against it and exploding when it reaches its destination

Harop is a drone of 2.5 meters long and three meters wide It can fly up to seven hours and over 1,000 kilometers on a charge of 20 kilograms of explosives. Harop drone used it Azerbaijan last year in the conflict of Nagorno-KarabakhThis being the first time it was used offensively, giving Azerbaijan a strategic advantage over Armenia.

Morocco will thus join the club that Israel and India are already part of, as well as Azerbaijan, in the use of this drone that is capable of locating a target, launching itself against it and exploding when it reaches its destination.

In addition, last week Israeli Defense Minister Gantz signed with his Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi a military cooperation agreement that paves the way for the two countries to sign and promote other arms sales agreements.

That deal comes just a year after Israel and Morocco announce the establishment of diplomatic relations promoted by the president Donald trump during the last weeks of his tenure. In exchange for normalizing relations with Israel, Rabat has obtained recognition of its disputed sovereignty over occupied Western Sahara since 1975, both from Israel and from Washington.

With the acquisition of the drones and the possible acquisition of more Israeli weapons, which joins the acquisition in September of Turkish-made drones Bayraktar, Morocco seeks to increase military control over the territory of Western Sahara in which the resistance of Polisario Front.

Morocco will be able to use the Harop drone in its offensive against the Polisario Front in 20 percent of the territory that the Moroccans still do not control. But its acquisition constitutes a strategic threat for other neighboring countries such as Algeria and Spain.

Morocco seeks to increase military control over the territory of Western Sahara

The tensions between Morocco and Algeria, originated precisely by the conflict in Western Sahara, have worsened in recent months and have led Algeria to sever diplomatic relations with Rabat. In early November, three Algerian truck drivers were killed in a Moroccan attack in the southern sector of Western Sahara.

On November 21, the official page of the Moroccan army on Facebook already reported the acquisition of the Israeli anti-drone system Skylock Dome, a part of which would have reached Morocco, another piece of information that corroborates the interest of the Maghreb country in Israel’s arms industry. .

By meddling in the Maghreb conflicts, Israel not only makes money for its military industry (Israel Aerospace Industries had not sold arms in Africa in the last two years, according to company data) but also extends its influence to the western Mediterranean. Right now, Israel’s presence extends from the confines of Iran to the Atlantic, that is, practically throughout the Arab world including the Persian Gulf.

This presence is decisive in many of the conflicts in the Middle East, sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. In the Maghreb, this presence will undoubtedly lead to an escalation of arms that will not only affect Morocco and Algeria but in all probability it will also involve Spain.

The conflict in Western Sahara bears a great resemblance to that in Palestine, since neither Israel nor Morocco are willing to give in and work day and night with the aim of annexation West Bank and Western Sahara without attending to international resolutions.

Its acquisition constitutes a strategic threat for other neighboring countries such as Algeria and Spain.

In this sense, both countries have the support of the United States while the European Union is unable to articulate a clear and just policy in North Africa and the Middle East. For decades, statements from Brussels and European capitals have been received with derision throughout the region.
Heads like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron They seem delighted with Israeli expansion in the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East, despite the fact that it is a problematic presence and may cause and feed serious problems in the medium term that will be detrimental to Europe.

Although it is true that Germany and France they reject the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, they are not able to make a move to defend their interests. As Israel’s interference solidifies, it will be more difficult for European leaders to emerge from the morass in which they find themselves.

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