Morocco denies all ties with Israel, but the Israeli foreign affairs ministry said that Morocco is among the Muslim countries that share open trade channels with it.
Rabat – Morocco has reportedly purchased three Heron drones, a type of reconnaissance military equipment, from Israel for an estimated $48 million.
Morocco’s military received the drone on January 26 of this year, French website Intelligence Online reported.
Israel Aerospace Industries produced the Heron drones for Morocco.
Morocco will use the drones in Western Sahara to combat extremist groups and rebel movements, the French website said.
The North African country and Israel allegedly signed the deal for the military equipment in 2014. French company Dassault acted as an intermediary between the two countries.
The reconnaissance drones are equipped with surveillance cameras, video recording systems, and electro-optical systems for day-night vision.
The drones are able to provide assistance to military forces by tracking explosives from the air in combat situations. They can also create movement profiles, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Recently, Morocco’s military has signed a series of agreements to purchase and upgrade multiple army equipment, including tanks and F-16. The agreements, however, are mostly with the US, Morocco’s main arms supplier.
Morocco’s arms acquisition deals with the US totaled $10.3 billion in 2019. The Moroccan government denies having official diplomatic ties with Israel.
Reports on trade between the two countries suggest that trade channels remain open. In 2018, Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported that Morocco traded $37 million worth of goods with Israel in 2017.
CBS data, quoted by Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows that imports to the North African country from Israel totaled $22 million compared to $41 million in 2016.
Moroccan exports to Israel were valued at $15 million in 2017 against $17 million in 2016.
The statistics found that Morocco ranked third among Arab countries trading with Israel. Jordan was first in the ranking with $278 million in exports and $75 milion for imports.
Israel’s imports from Egypt reached $64 million while its exports amounted to $84 million to Egypt. Based on this value, in terms of Arab states, Egypt had the second-highest amount of trade with Israel.
The Israeli ministry expressed satisfaction with the trade cooperation with Arab and Islamic countries that have no diplomatic ties with Israel.