By Tom Anderson
Israel’s Elbit Systems, through its British subsidiary U-TacS, has been awarded a £44.5 million contract to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) support capability for the UK Armed Forces operating in Afghanistan.
Elbit, based in Haifa, owns the majority shares in U-TACs in Leicester along with French arms company, Thales. The contract includes continued supply of the Hermes drone system.
Ministry of Defence purchases from Israel strengthen Israel’s arms industry and feed Israeli militarism. Israel’s armaments sector is fuelled by the testing ground which the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and siege of Gaza provides.
The Hermes drone, now being peddled on the international market, is the fruit of the, increasingly mechanised, siege of Gaza. Hermes pilotless planes have been in use in Gaza since 2005. The grassroots Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) calls for government sanctions on Israel, including the cessation of arms purchases.