As is often the case when disasters strike other countries, friends or foes, Israeli leaders were quick to offer support, aid, medical supplies, and a military rescue team to Morocco following the devastating earthquake there on Saturday – the strongest to hit the region in more than 120 years. The death toll has surpassed 2,000, with thousands more injured or missing.
“Our hearts are with the Moroccan people,” President Isaac Herzog said. “On behalf of the people of Israel, I send deepest condolences to His Majesty King Mohammed VI and all the people of Morocco for the tragic loss of life in last night’s earthquake. We pray for the injured. Israel is ready to help as needed.”
Israel is ready to help after the Morocco earthquake
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed all government bodies and forces to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including preparations for sending an aid delegation to the area.
“The people of Israel extend their hands to our friends, the people of Morocco, at this difficult time and pray for their well-being,” Netanyahu said. “We will help in any way we can.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with his Moroccan counterpart, Abdellatif Loudiyi, and said: “A significant part of the Abraham Accords is our commitment to stand by our partners during national crises. The State of Israel is prepared to assist the Kingdom of Morocco during this difficult time.”
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen instructed his ministry and the Israeli embassy in Rabat to contact Moroccan authorities to see how Israel could be of assistance. The Foreign Ministry dispatched a team to Rabat to help some 500 Israelis in need of assistance. The ministry also said Israel’s consul in Rabat was heading to the Marrakech area to assess needs there.
The Health Ministry said it was planning to join the aid efforts, dispatching a delegation of doctors and nurses, together with medical equipment.
IsraAID said it would dispatch a delegation with aid to Marrakesh and the surrounding area, while Magen David Adom said it was preparing to send two rescue teams to the country – one to operate a field hospital and the other to carry out search-and-rescue operations.
Relations between Israel and Morocco have warmed significantly since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020 and Morocco’s decision on December 10 that year to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. Then-IDF chief of staff Aviv Kohavi made the first official visit to Morocco in July last year, and in June this year, Israel participated for the first time in the African Lion military maneuvers in Morocco. The Jerusalem Post hosted a Global Investment Forum in Marrakech last November.
Moroccan House of Councillors President Enaam Mayara’s visit to the Knesset last week was unfortunately postponed after he was hospitalized in Jordan; it would have been the first visit by a Moroccan leader to the Knesset since the signing of the Abraham Accords and following Israel’s recent recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara. Mayara had been invited to Israel by Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, who visited Morocco in June.
Jews have been living in Morocco for over 2,000 years, and although the Jewish community numbers only 2,500 today, it remains significant, as it is one of the few remaining Jewish communities in an Arab country. Perhaps the most prominent member of the community is André Azoulay, an adviser to King Mohammed VI, who last week was presented with Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor and the Torch of Abraham Award by Rabbi Marvin Hier at the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem.
“André has made an extraordinary contribution to Moroccan Jewry, the Jewish world, and the State of Israel in cultivating and preserving relations with Morocco over the years, preserving Jewish heritage in Morocco, and providing support and advice to Israeli leaders in their quest for peace in the Middle East,” Herzog said.
Azoulay cited King Mohammed V’s rescue of Jews during the Holocaust and said, “Thousands of Jews were saved by my country, my king, my people.”
As Morocco mourns, we extend our condolences to the families of all the victims and send wishes for the speedy recovery of the injured. We are proud that the Jewish state is supporting Morocco in its hour of need.