Morocco buys spy satellites from Israel for 1$bn

Morocco buys spy satellites from Israel for 1$bn

Against the backdrop of war between Israel and Hamas, Morocco plans to buy a spy satellite from Israeli Aerospace Industries in a $1 billion deal, reports the Jerusalem Post. 

On the 10th of July, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which makes some of Israel’s most advanced drones and missile defence systems, announced a major deal to supply one of its systems to an unnamed third party. 

According to foreign reports, the deal involves the sale of two advanced spy satellites to Morocco, spanning over the course of five years. 

 The reports indicate that Morocco will purchase two satellites from the Opsat 3000 series, replacing the two older models with lower resolution capabilities that Morocco had previously acquired from a consortium of French, Italian and German companies.

 The deal was made possible due to the Abraham records, which are bilateral agreements on Arab Israeli normalisation signed between Israel and several Arab states on September 15th, 2020. 

Morocco has also purchased the Barak 8 air defence system from IAI for $500 million.

Both deals were significantly influenced by Amir Peretz, Chairman of IAI, due to his connections in the country.

French reports suggest that the deal was finalised in the summer of 2023, before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Morocco has not cancelled the deal, despite the ongoing conflict or the backlash from Moroccan citizens calling to cut normalisation with Israel. 

READ: Morocco to cut normalisation with Israel after ICJ ruling 

The war has increased demand for employment in the defence industries, which are expanding and viewed as stable workplaces during these times.

On June 10th, Yair Katz, chairman of the IAI workers’ Union stated during the AllJobs Human Capital Market Conference, that “In a normal year, 50,000 resumes are sent to our placement centre. Currently, we have received 35,000 in the past six months alone. We employ over 7,000 programmers. I want Israeli workers considering where to work to choose a place that saves lives.” 

Katz, a Likud member and son of Tourism Minister Haim Katz, added that they have filed a petition to the High Court of Justice for government and public companies to also receive the grant of NIS 3,000 for each worker who comes to work in conflict zones and under fire. “These workers also face threats and danger yet continue to produce and advance Israel’s security,” he said.

The production of spy satellites at IAI also involves Elbit Systems, which provides the space camera, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which builds the satellite’s propulsion system that maintains its orbit. To date, IAI has sold spy satellites to India, Azerbaijan, Italy, and Singapore.

The Jerusalem Post. 


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