Unprecedented in any Arab country.. A Jewish prayer for the Israeli army
Cantor Gabriel Deri recites prayers during a visit by Defense Minister Benny Gantz to the Talmud Torah synagogue in Rabat on November 25, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

A synagogue in Morocco hosted a prayer for Israeli soldiers during the visit of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to the kingdom, in a rare step unprecedented in any Arab country, according to an Israeli newspaper.

The “Times of Israel” newspaper reported that the prayer was held, Thursday, in the Talmud Torah Synagogue in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, and what was distinguished for the prayer, according to the newspaper, was the presence of Israeli soldiers in their military uniforms.

The prayer was held in the presence of the Israeli Minister of Defense in the synagogue, in which the prayer was not organized for a long time due to the lack of sufficient numbers to hold it, according to the Jewish religion.

Two of the three soldiers who attended are of Moroccan origin, as is a member of the Knesset in the delegation, and some other people, including journalists.

The newspaper says that unlike the UAE and Bahrain, which signed normalization agreements with Israel, Morocco is the original home of many Israelis, with their number ranging from 250 thousand to one million Israelis of Moroccan origin.

Speaking at the synagogue, Gantz noted that Moroccan culture is a deep part of Israeli culture, and this extends even to the designs of synagogues as well.

The newspaper pointed out that even before normalization, the Israelis visit Morocco to visit their families, and it is expected that these visits will multiply with the normalization of relations.

And on Thursday, Gantz left Morocco at the conclusion of an unprecedented visit to the Kingdom, which was marked by the two countries signing an unprecedented agreement on security cooperation that deepens their relations.

The security agreement enables “technology transfer and training, as well as cooperation in the defense industry,” according to the high command of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces. It is the first of its kind between Israel and an Arab country, according to the Israeli side.

The two countries resumed their diplomatic relations a year ago as part of a tripartite agreement under which the United States recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, which is disputed with the Algeria-backed Polisario Front.

Morocco and Israel had previously established diplomatic relations following the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1993 before Rabat cut them off due to the suppression of the second Palestinian uprising that began in 2000.

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