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
Bnei Yehuda settlement was established in 1972 after Israel’s occupation of the Golan heights, it was reportedly set up by workers from Israeli Aircraft Industries (www.iai.co.il). It is on the site of the Syrian area of Scopia which was depopulated when the Israeli military forced most of the Syrian residents of the Golan Heights out of their homes. It now has 1036 residents.
Bnei Yehuda boasts a Carmel Agrexco packing house. Agrexco are the largest exporter of fresh produce from the settlements to Europe and elsewhere.
On the road leading to Bnei Yehuda a factory bearing the Elbit logo can be seen. The factory appears to be manufacturing aircraft. Elbit operate in the UK and are involved in testing unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) at ParcAberporth in Wales (see http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3470).
Near the entrance to Bnei Yehuda industrial area is a sign offering free land to people who want to settle, on the expropriated Syrian land, in Bnei Yehuda.
Sign offering free land for settlers in Bnei Yehuda
Qalandiya Terminal, the crossing between East Jerusalem and Ramallah is often the first military checkpoint visitors cross when entering the West Bank. During the second intifada the Israeli state began transforming the old Qalandiya checkpoint into a ‘terminal’, similar to an international border, the process has cost between $32 and $34 million and has delivered hefty profits to the contractors involved. Continue reading
Israeli companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine are increasingly subject to blacklisting and divestment due to the growing pressure exerted boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The movement of Palestinian organisations and solidarity activists pushes for divestment from Israeli companies involved in and profiting from the occupation and in recent months has seen millions of dollars withdrawn from Israeli companies, in particular Israeli military contractor Elbit Systems, a company involved in the construction of the apartheid wall and connected to the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) , or drones. Continue reading
Israel is planning to build a new security fence around the Red Sea city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt. Companies set to tender for stakes in the $270 million project include Motorola Israel, which manufactures the Wide Area Surveilance System (WASS) sensors for settlements in the West Bank; Ortek, a subsidiary of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit; Magal Security Systems, an Israeli company that had built parts of the West Bank and Gaza walls; D-Fence and El-Far. Israel has already built fences and walls along its borders with Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and inside the West Bank and Gaza. The construction of many of these barriers has resulted in land grabs and everyday suffering for Palestinians trying to cross through the countless checkpoints.