Israeli drone ‘mega deals’ export the occupation world-wide

 Israel Aerospace Industries’ ghost drone.

Earlier this month, two Israeli weapons producers signed “mega deals” with “unnamed” countries, exporting a crucial piece of the occupation — drones. The companies, Elbit Systems Ltd., known as the IDF “workhorse,” and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), both sold drones, with the latter also unloading missiles and intelligence systems.

The deals: Elbit collected $50 million from an unnamed country for drones sold to a “governmental office of a country in the Americas.” Not to be outdone, IAI cut a deal for $1.6 billion, their largest contract ever, also from an “unnamed country.”Giving some clues as to who purchased the weapons, IAI let on the confidential client was an Asian government. Israeli business journal Globes followed up on secret deal with an unnamed source, reporting:

[T]his is the first time that the country has signed a contract with IAI, a fact which itself indicates the complexity of the deal and the need or confidence building measures by the parties.

ground control
Elbit’s drone ground control station.

As an new client, the deal excludes the possibility of the U.S., India, Brazil, Columbia, and Chile, all of which, in the past five years, began purchasing weapons tested in the occupation. And at times, Israeli weapons producers fight dirty in order to win government contracts. In 2010 letters surfaced indicating Elbit bribed the government of Colombia in an attempt to steal the billion-dollar deal from IAI.

A special relationship with the IDF

Taking the occupation global is only part of the weapons producers’ mandate. At their core, they operate to build the military apparatus controlling the occupied Palestinian territories. Both companies make clear on their websites that they produce and design specifically to further the IDF’s goals.

IAI’s company profile reads: “IAI has accumulated nearly half a century of experience in creating and supplying advanced systems for the Israel Ministry of Defense.”  IAI is wholly owned by the state of Israel, and dovish Shimon Peres is one of the co-founders.

As for Elbit, the press release from their latest sale boasts their drones serve as “the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces’ UAS[Unmanned Aircraft Systems] operations.” Furthermore, the press release notes the weapons were designed,“following orders by the Israeli Defense Forces.”

Just a reminder that there is money to be made from the laboratory of the Israeli occupation.

( / 16.01.2012)

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