“Israel’s Iron Dome” .. Talk about Moroccan interest and the possibility of an “excluded deal”

Sources for the Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, ruled out that Israel would sell missiles from the Iron Dome defense system to Morocco, after local reports in Morocco indicated Rabat’s desire to buy these missiles manufactured by the Israeli “Rafael” company.

And the Moroccan newspaper “Le Desk”  reported that Rabat was “interested” in purchasing a missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy short-range missiles, drones and missiles, in order to strengthen the strength of Morocco’s sand wall in the desert “as well as civilian and military areas of a sensitive nature.”

But the Jerusalem Post’s sources said that such a deal is “unlikely at the moment.”

Al-Hurra tried to reach Israeli spokesmen and the Moroccan embassy in Washington for comment, and had not received any response at the time of writing the report.

The Egyptian security analyst, Samir Ragheb, considered that there is a “special” situation for Morocco in relation to Israel and did not rule out reaching a “secret” deal to confront the “Polisario” front in the Western Sahara backed by Algeria, while the Israeli security expert, Amir Oren, explained the reasons Israel may call for no such deal to be signed.

Morocco built the wall, with a length of about 2,700 kilometers, in the eighties of the last century to defend the country against the “Polisario” front.

The Moroccan newspaper “Al-Ayyam” said that the Moroccan armed forces are working to develop their defense capabilities with the latest technologies, especially at the level of the defensive wall, “which serves as a fortress that protects the soil of the Kingdom from attempts to penetrate and target from the eastern borders.”

Tensions have escalated between the two countries since Algeria severed diplomatic relations with Rabat last August, claiming Moroccan “hostile acts”, and then announcing the killing of citizens by “Moroccan bombing” in Western Sahara, which Rabat denied.

The importance of the “Iron Dome” system

Israel designed the Iron Dome system to destroy short-range missiles, artillery shells and drones targeting populated areas, and it is designed to operate in all weather conditions, according to AFP.

The missile can intercept a missile from a distance of four to 70 kilometers. It can determine whether hostile missiles will land in open areas or civilian centers, and thus choose whether to intercept them.

The first battery was installed, in March 2011, near the southern city of Beersheba, about 40 kilometers from the Gaza Strip. Other batteries have since been deployed with the aim of defending the entirety of Israeli territory, and have already been used in numerous conflicts between Israel and armed movements in the Gaza Strip.

Iron Dome and the Polisario

In his statements to Al-Hurra, the Egyptian security expert, Samir Ragheb, believes that this system has proven “successful” in the face of non-state actors such as Hamas, which enhances the possibility that Rabat will want to use it in the face of the “Polisario” Front, as well as with the increase in escalation with Algeria. and the possibility of a proxy war.

He points out in an interview with Al-Hurra website that Israel has developed this system since its inception, which increases its ability to protect Morocco’s vital interests if a clash occurs between the two neighbors.

Israeli “fears”

However, the Israeli security expert, Amir Oren, expressed in a statement to Al-Hurra that he feared that the technology for manufacturing this system would reach parties hostile to Israel, if the Polisario were able to gain access to one of these missiles, and pointed out that Morocco does not guarantee the security of these weapons.

The analyst added that the discovery by these parties of the technical secrets of this system may make them able to manufacture their own weapons, which threatens Israel’s security superiority.

He points out that the issue is similar to the United States’ refusal to sell F-35 planes to Turkey with the presence of Russian S-400 missiles there.

According to the Israeli army, the success rate of these missiles in interception is between 75 and 90 percent, and at an estimated cost of $50,000 per shot.

The Israeli analyst refers to the “high cost” when Israel does not have enough of it while simultaneously fighting on multiple fronts.

For this reason, he doubts the possibility of Israel signing an agreement of this kind now, while Morocco needs these missiles now and not in years.

Ragheb agrees on the issue of the “high cost” of these missiles to Morocco, and says that using a missile with thousands of cycles to shoot down a missile worth a few hundred dollars (of the type of weapons in the possession of the Polisario) “is not economically beneficial.”

“Special” importance to Morocco

The Jerusalem Post says that Morocco has had close economic, diplomatic and military relations with Israel for years, before normalizing their relationship according to the “Ibrahim Agreement” along with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, last year.

Ragheb refers to Morocco’s “speciality” with regard to Israel’s security, unlike Algeria, which adopts a “populist” discourse against Israel, and has rallies that may support the “Polisario,” as he put it.

He says that Israel wants to be one of the biggest players in the market for selling air defense systems and drones.

It is not excluded that it will sell arms to Arab countries, including Morocco, and he suggested “not announcing” any future deal of this kind between Rabat and Israel to achieve “the element of strategic surprise, and not to embarrass the Moroccan regime,” which faces opposition from some parties to normalization.

He believes that the “highest degree of normalization” between countries is “military cooperation”, which is already happening between Israel and Middle Eastern countries, referring to military coordination between Israel and these countries, and the transfer of Israel from the area of ​​operations of the European Command of the American forces, to the Central Command, The latter was rejected in the past so as not to create a conflict between Israeli and Arab interests.

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