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July 25, 2021 5:00 pm

Israel’s First Ever Commercial Flight to Morocco Lands in Marrakesh: ‘It’s Just the Beginning’

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

An Israir airplane. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In a historic event, the first-ever flight by a commercial Israeli airline to Morocco touched down on Sunday, prompting one passenger to say, “My whole body is shaking with excitement.”

Although Israel has previously had some unofficial relations with Morocco, they largely collapsed following the outbreak of the Palestinians’ terror war in 2000.

In the wake of the 2019 Abraham Accords, the two countries officially normalized ties, facilitating today’s historic Israir flight to the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

Israeli news site Mako reported that Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism held a special reception at the airport for the 100 Israeli visitors, including music, dancing, and dining.

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Yossi, one of the passengers, said, “You do not understand what it is for me to fly to Morocco.”

“My whole body is shaking with excitement,” he said. “It is much more than closing a circle. It is something that is difficult to explain in words.”

A million Israelis are either Moroccan-born immigrants or their descendants, and they have retained an attachment to the country.

One passenger said, “We are as excited as children. There are people who have only seen Marrakesh in pictures.” They added that they are sure a great many Israelis will be flying to Morocco, including those without family connections to the country.

Israeli retail magnate Rami Levy, one of the owners of Israir, ushered the passengers into the plane at Ben-Gurion Airport and traveled with them to Marrakesh.

“I’m very excited. We’ve made history,” he said to Mako. “This route will be a success … it’s [just] a matter of time.”

“When you see all these passengers, it warms the heart,” Levy said. “It’s just the beginning.”

The initial Israir flight was followed shortly afterwards by an El Al flight with 150 passengers on board.

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