US President Donald Trump is making efforts for the initiation of direct flights between Israel and Morocco, a Channel 12 News report said over the weekend.
Currently, Israel has no official diplomatic ties with Morocco although the two countries maintain unofficial intelligence, tourism, and trade ties. Furthermore, Israeli citizens are permitted in the country and the Moroccan government extends its protection to the Jewish community in Casablanca, the largest Jewish community in the Muslim world with about 2,000 Jews.
Before Israel was founded in 1948, there were about 300,000 Jews in Morocco, most of whom emigrated to Israel, with Moroccan Jews comprising one of the largest Sefardi communities in Israel.
According to the report, Trump’s efforts to broker official diplomatic ties between Israel and Morocco failed but he is hoping to at least achieve direct flights between the two countries.
Moroccan Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani said in August that his country is not willing to normalize ties with Israel due to its violation of Palestinian rights. However, a few days later, he seemingly retracted his statements, saying that his opposition to diplomatic ties stems from his position as leader of the Islamist PJD party rather than as prime minister.
The report added that the US is also continuing efforts to forge ties between Israel and Oman and Sudan and that Israel is presently in discussions with Sudan about providing aid to the country due to the recent record-breaking flash floods that have wreaked havoc in the African country.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)