CCTV watches over an Israeli police station in the Israeli occupied West Bank
Palestinians have called for international action on April 17th 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focussing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.
Tom Woodhead is a Palestine solidarity and anti arms trade activist and recently volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. On March 1st 2013, he was arrested by Israeli border police whilst participating in the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum in the West Bank. Two Palestinians, Belal Jomaa and Nayif Jomaa were also arrested. Tom spent 11 days in detention in Israel before being deported to the UK. Corporate Watch caught up with him to find out about his experiences, and to get more information about companies operating in Israeli detention facilities. Continue reading
Posted in 'Security' and Surveillance, Arms Companies, Corporate Watch Research Blogs
Tagged 'Security'/Surveillance, Ariel, Arms Companies, Canon, El Al, G4S, Givon immigration prison, International Companies in Palestine, Qedumin, Samsung, Tri-Max
In May John Eaton, a director of arms manufacturers EDO MBM, spoke on behalf of the company at an arms conference in Washington about work being done in Brighton to develop bomb release units with a footprint “the size of a dollar bill”. In his abstract for the talk Eaton contends that “flexible responses require new approaches to the delivery of small non traditional weapons from non traditional airframes involved in the kill chain.” Continue reading
An article entitled ‘Predicting a Riot’, on the Eurosatory Land Defence and Security Exhibition website sheds light on the non-lethal weapons currently being developed to control dissent. The article alludes to the British Summer 2011 riots and the Toronto G20 protests as examples of a “new form of mass crime” that justifies the use of new technology by police forces:
“2011 was a year of global political upheaval, as politics and technology converged to change the face of protest, direct action and mass criminal behaviour. In stark contrast to the legitimate protest, which has driven democracy in states such as Egypt, or raised political questions in Western states, a new form of mass-crime has brought massive property damage, injury and death.
…the evolution of police weapons and tactics has become necessary and justified. To support responders, policy-makers must establish new systems to rapidly stop a peaceful gathering from becoming a criminal free-for-all, while protecting a vital right to free expression.” Continue reading
Arms manufacturer ITT has split into three independent companies. Its arms manufacturing business will be renamed ITT Exelis, its Industrial Process and Flow Control division will keep the ITT name, while the Water and Waste division will become Xylem. The companies will be listed separately on the New York Stock Exchange. There has also been speculation that US arms giant Raytheon may buy ITT Exelis. Continue reading
Click here for a podcast of Corporate Watch’s interview with Dissident Island Radio on the use of Palestine as a testing ground for ‘non-lethal’ weapons.
In the light of the recent death of Jawaher Abu Rahma through tear gas inhalation (see http://corporateoccupation.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/1080/ ) Ryan Olander takes a look at the history of systematic ‘non-lethal weapon’ usage by Israel against Palestinians.
American toxic tear gas used by the Israelis
Jamal Shukeirat, resident of East Jerusalem, was a young man on the 26th of September 1988; 23 years old. For most people his age, September is a month to return to university or begin thinking about harvest. However, his life was cut short this day. Jamal was shot directly in the head with a large and heavy tear gas round by the Israeli Military. 
It is illegal under international law to use propelled tear gas in this way. An addendum of the Chemical Weapons Convention (of which Israel is a signatory ) states: “And, as toxic chemicals, RCA [riot control agents] are subject to the requirement that their types and quantities must be consistent with their purpose. This implies that the munitions or devices used to deliver RCA must also be consistent with that purpose.”  The reason it is considered a “less-than-lethal” weapon is because its dispersal effects come as the CS gas they burn are inhaled. This causes nausea, loss of breath and impaired vision. Many times the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) use this weapon as projectile to strike nonviolent activists. Instead of firing these heavy metal canisters indirectly and in a gentle arc, the IOF fires them directly at Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Continue reading
Impertec Supergum in Maale Efraim
Impertec/Supergum Industries - One of the companies in Ma’ale Efraim is Impertec ‘Supergum’.
Impertec is part of the ‘Supergum Group’. Impertec and Supergum are sister companies with the same owners. Impertec manufactures gas masks, riot gear and rubber extrusions. Supergum manufacture rubber, plastic and sealing products. Both product ranges have military applications Continue reading
Caterpillar, the company which supplies the Israeli military with bulldozers, announced that it is delaying the supply of D9 bulldozers during the case brought by the family of Rachel Corrie. Continue reading
Elbit's Hermes drone
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. See http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/10/25/348884/uk-renews-hermes-450-contract-for-afghanistan.html
Israel has recently sealed a deal to purchase 20 F-35 Joint Striker Jets from Lockheed Martin. This contract, the largest purchase made by the state of Israel is covered by a US military aid package. The F-35 is expected to replace the F16 as Israel’s main attack weapon. Israeli F-16s were used in attacks on civilian target, including police stations, government buildings and hospitals, during Israel’s massacre in Gaza in January 2009. The deal had stalled over negotiations as to whether the jets could be fitted with Israeli made missiles and electronic warfare systems. Lockheed refused, saying that the package was a “closed deal”. This stipulation will ensure that the IAF is reliant on the global arms trade for weapons components over the coming years. However, as a sweetener, it has been pledged that some Israeli made weapons systems will be installed on future F-35 purchases. Other companies working on the project are Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut and General Electric in Ohio.
See http://www.israel-palestinenews.org/2010/10/israel-seals-unprecedented-weapons.html and http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/36-b/2008/Israel_08-83.pdf and http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/israel-plans-to-buy-over-100-f35s-02381/