Defense Minister Benny Gantz's historic two-day visit to Morocco did not go unnoticed as local media reported on the former IDF chief extensively and his image graced the front pages of the North African nation's newspapers.
During his visit, Jerusalem's head defense officer and his Moroccan hosts signed a slew of cooperation agreements, with the aim of further cementing the burgeoning bonhomie between the countries which long had to go under the radar up until the signing of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords last year.
Gantz's visit is considered a major step-up in bilateral ties which are now also set to include shared endeavors in the fields of trade, commerce and tourism.
One publication published a letter penned by Gantz in which he praises the budding relations between the nations and even commends the past Moroccan kings for their treatment of the country's once-bustling Jewish community.
"The Jewish nation will forever honor Morocco's kings," Gantz wrote. "Under the brave leadership of King Mohammed V, the history of Moroccan Jewry lives on to this day."
"One day in the future, I will sit in my living room with my grandchildren and tell them about my visit to Morocco, how we seared our place in the history books as the first countries sharing a mutual defense pact. More than 250,000 Jews lived in Morocco in safety and prosperity during one of the darkest chapters of Jewish history as millions of Jewish people were rounded up in trains like cattle and were shipped to death camps all across Europe. My parents lived through the horrors of Nazism. At that time in history, His Majesty King Mohammed V announced to the world: There are no Jews in Morocco.
"The King's words still resonate within the hearts of Moroccan Jews …and today, close to half a million Israelis carry their Moroccan culture, language and heritage with pride."
The Defense Minister told the local paper that Jerusalem and Rabat are at a historic point in their relations as they cooperate in the fight against terrorism, intelligence and more.
The same paper published an editorial on Thursday titled "Benny is here, Shalom!"
As Defense Minister Gantz sealed his visit late Thursday and was about to jet off back to Tel Aviv, he thanked Moroccan King Mohamed VI for sponsoring the visit and the other dignitaries with whom he met.
"The historic agreement I signed will enable further development of relations in the intelligence aspect, in military cooperation and in the industrial aspect," he said.