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Israel Expands Military Ties In Africa

TV report says Israel’s new military alliances are part of a new era in global diplomacy

This Sunday, a ‘Channel 13’ report showed footage of Israeli officers training Tanzanian soldiers in the Israeli military martial art, ‘Krav Maga’.

Some of the skills taught to Tanzanian soldiers include hand-to-hand combat, hostage-rescue operations and urban warfare techniques.

The IDF are reportedly also training militaries in a dozen African nations.

This is part of a broad strategy to expand and improve diplomatic ties on the continent.

The report said that this was the result of a joint cooperation effort by the Foreign Ministry, IDF, Mossad and Shin Bet.

“I’ve been in Africa four times in the last two years, that’s gotta tell you something,” Netanyahu said recently in an address to Jewish leaders in the US, highlighting recent diplomatic developments.

Israel restored diplomatic ties with Chad  after Netanyahu and Idriss Deby met this year and renewed relations, formerly severed by N’Djamena in 1972.

“‘At this time, we can overfly Egypt. We can overfly Chad, that has already been set. And to all appearances, we can also overfly this corner of Sudan,” Netanyahu said last year at Yom Kippur.

Notably this year, an Israeli plane landed in Entebbe airport Uganda after almost 40 years.

Many remember the daring rescue of Israeli hostages that happened in Uganda in 1976 under Idi Amin’s rule.

“We treat African leaders with respect and appreciation and deal with them as equals in a language of true camaraderie, personal friendship and professionalism,” said Col. Aviezer Segal, Israel’s military attaché in Africa

Some of the countries that have forged ties are Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Togo, Ivory Coast and Ghana.

According to the report, Israel has been reluctant to provide similar military assistance to African nations that are suspected of human rights violations.

Written by Avi Kumar

Avi Kumar is a contributor to The Schpiel.

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