Tag Archives: Arms Companies

Arms fair’s cyber security breached

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Anarchists calling themselves the ‘Information Liberation Front’ (ILF) have to the website, which show that they were able to to company EZONE account on the DSEI arms fair’s website and register a at the fair. DSEI is one of the world’s biggest arms fairs and is taking place in London’s Docklands today. Hacking Team is a cyber surveillance company, which is exhibiting at the fair. Continue reading

New Briefing – Gaza: Life beneath the drones

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Unpiloted aircraft, known as drones, have become Israel’s weapon of choice in its attacks on Gaza. In 2012 drones killed more people in Gaza than any other aircraft. In Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ attack, 37% of those killed died in drone attacks.

In 2013 Corporate Watch visited Gaza for two months to interview the survivors of drone attacks and human rights workers about the effect of living beneath the drones. The interviews tell the story of the survivors and highlights their calls for support from the global solidarity movement.

This briefing compiles the interviews and gives short profiles of some of the companies profiting from Israel’s drone wars: Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

We hope that reading this briefing will inspire you to take action in solidarity with people living under siege in Gaza. As one survivor of a drone strike told us: “We do not need just words”.

Elbit: new company profile

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Elbit Systems, based in Haifa, is Israel’s largest publicly traded arms and security company. Elbit is growing fast. It has absorbed dozens of companies since 2000 and now employs well over 11,500 people as well a presiding over a considerable global network of subsidiaries and affiliated corporations.

Elbit is a company with international reach, in fact 75% of its market is outside Israel. The company has military contracts with governments in the US, UK and Europe, Africa, Asia and South America.

85% of drones used by the Israeli military are manufactured by Elbit. Elbit’s armed drones are used by the Israeli army in daily surveillance and attacks in Gaza, according to Defense News. In effect, Elbit markets its equipment on the fact that it has been battle tested on the bodies of people in Gaza. For example, the Elbit website advertises that the Hermes 450 drone is the “backbone of Israel’s UAS fleet” and is combat proven.

To read the full profile click here.

Honeyell components used to bomb Gaza last Summer

Components manufactured by US firm Honeywell were used to bomb a Palestinian home during the Israeli attack on Gaza last Summer.

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Photos taken by International Solidarity Movement activist Charlie Andreasson in Shujaiya on 9th August 2014, show damage to a Palestinian home close to where the components were found. One picture shows a component marked Honeywell, giving a postcode in Iowa. The damage can only have been caused by an aerial dropped bomb. The components were probably for a laser guided bomb system.

The Gaza City neighbourhood of Shujaiya was devastated by the bombing last Summer which claimed the lives of 2,191 Palestinians.

Honeywell is a US Based international corporation that produces products fo the arms, manufacturing, civil aviation and construction industries. It also produces thermostats for home use. The Palestinian call for boycott divestment and sanctions calls for people to boycott consumer products from companies supplying weaponry to the Israeli military, in solidarity with people in Gaza.

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Will the Supreme Court give police the ‘right’ to mass surveillance?

john-catt_2509902bThe Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), with the backing of the Secretary of State, have been fighting a case in the Supreme Court, defending their ‘right’ to store data on protesters. They are appealing against a 2013 judgement, which said that they were obliged to destroy data about an anti-war protester called John Catt. The ruling has implications for the police’s right to store data on everyone. The court has now heard legal arguments and a judgement is expected soon. Continue reading

Life beneath the drones: part six – ‘They get money and they cost our lives’

An Israeli surveillance balloon over a house in Al Qarara, close to the home of the Abu Zneid family - Photo taken by Corporate Watch, November 2013

An Israeli surveillance balloon over a house in Al Qarara, close to the home of the Abu Zneid family – Photo taken by Corporate Watch, November 2013

This is the sixth and final instalment in our series of articles focusing on what life is like for people in Gaza living beneath Israel’s military drones. For more reading about the history and impact of drone use in Gaza, first hand accounts of drone attacks and information and ideas for action against drone manufacturers and investors in drone technology, see part one, two, three, four and five

We met the Abu Zneid family in al Qarara, an agricultural village to the north of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip in November 2013. We had been told about their story by professor Haidar Eid, a member of the Gaza steering committee of The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [PACBI] and a univerity lecturer. When we asked if he knew anyone we could interview about Israeli drone attacks he said: “You need to hear what happened to this woman I was teaching, She was the most brilliant student I had ever had before she was killed by a drone in 2009”. Continue reading

Life beneath the drones: Part four – ‘We do not need just words’

The scene in Zaytoun after the attack by an Israeli F-16, November 2012, photo courtesy of the Abu Zor family

The scene in Zaytoun after the attack by an Israeli F-16, November 2012, photo courtesy of the Abu Zor family

Click here to read parts one, two and three.

This article tells the story of the Abu Zor family, who lost three family members after the Israeli military fired on their neighbourhood from a drone and F-16. Their story shows that Israel’s practice of firing a warning shot from a drone before destroying homes does not prevent deaths of people not involved in fighting. The family want action from solidarity campaigners against the companies manufacturing the weapons that were used to target them.

Corporate Watch interviewed the Abu Zor family at their ruined home in the Zeitoun district of Gaza City. Their house had been destroyed in an Israeli F16 attack on 19th November 2012. The bombing came at 3am in the morning during the Israeli attack known as ‘Operation Pillar of Cloud’, which killed 255 Palestinians in eight days. According to the Gaza based Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights 201 out of 255 of these people were killed by attacks from Israeli drones. When we met them in December 2013 they were still in the process of rebuilding their home.

As we speak to Hamad and Mohammed Abu Zor, their children gather to listen to the conversation. We learn that many of these children lost their mothers in the attack. We are encouraged to look at their scars and feel the soft patches in their skulls where they were crushed when the house’s roof caved in on them, as if the family need to impress the reality of what happened on us. For these young children, as for many people in Gaza,  being involved in telling the story of how they saw their loved ones killed has become a normal occurrence. A duty to make people aware of the real story of what happened to them.

Roof-knocking

Before the attack the Israeli army had fired on the neighbourhood with a drone, supposedly to warn people to leave the area. This practice of firing a warning shot from a drone has become known as ‘roof-knocking’. In reality, roof-knocking is not really a way to protect life, but simply a way for Israeli commanders to avoid accountability by claiming that they did all they could to warn civilians.

In fact these ‘roof knockings’ are an added danger to those beneath the bombs and are not effective as a warning. In the Abu Zor family’s case it had fatal consequences. Continue reading

‘Prevent these Israeli war crimes that kill our dreams and kill our children’

Life beneath the drones part two, click here to read part one

Unpiloted aircraft, known as drones in the arms industry, have become Israel’s weapon of choice in its attacks on Gaza.Since January 2012 drones have killed more people in Gaza than any other aircraft. In 2013 Corporate Watch carried out interviews with several victims of Israeli drone strikes. These interviews are intended to give a voice to the survivors and to be a resource for those campaigning against the companies profiting from the manufacture of equipment used in the Israeli state’s crimes in Gaza.

Yosra Ash Shawa - Killed in an Israeli drone strike on her home onNovember 20 2012
Yosra Ash Shawa – Killed in an Israeli drone strike on her home on
November 20 2012

We arranged to meet Basil and Mona Ash Shawa (sometimes spelled Al Shawa) at their apartment in Gaza City in November 2013 to discuss the murder of their only daughter, 18 year old Yosra, in an Israeli drone attack during Operation Pillar of Cloud. During that operation 201 out of the 255 fatalities were killed by drones. Continue reading

Resist the Drone Wars – Workshop at Drone Campaign Network’s national gathering

Corporate Watch will be giving a workshop about the use of drones in Gaza. The workshop will focus on findings from interviews carried out with survivors of drone attacks in Winter 2013. More details at https://dronecampaignnetwork.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/resisting-the-drone-wars-campaign-day-14-june/

Anti militarists launch private prosecution against arms companies

Anti-militarist campaigners have launched a private prosecution of two arms companies. A statement by the activists lawyers reads:

“Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors today confirmed that they have obtained a summons against two international arms companies – TIAJIN MYWAY INTERNATIOANL TRADING COMPANY and MAGFORCE INTERNATIONAL for promoting unlawful weapons at the DSEi Arms Fair in the Excel Centre in September 2013.

Evidence that both companies had promoted unlawful weapons emerged during the arms fair itself. This lead to companies being ejected from the fair and the relevant material being passed to authorities.1

HJA had written to the DPP, CPS, Revenue and Customs, the Met police, Vince Cable and the Attorney General2 to enquire about an investigation by the State and make representation that action should be taken against the companies – to date no substantive response has been received.

The arms companies were promoting stun guns/stun batons and leg restraints – all of which are classified as “Category A items” under the Export Order Act 2008 and should not have been promoted in the arms fair.”

The two activists had previously been on trial for public order offences during the protests against the 2013 DSEi arms fair. Their charges were dropped after they argued that their actions were justified due to the illegal activities of companies at the fair. A statement from the activists reads:

“Following repeated attempts by our lawyers at disclosure regarding the nature and extent of the authorities’ investigation into breaches of law at the arms fair, most of our trial group’s criminal prosecutions were dropped. This week, we commenced our own private prosecution proceedings against the arms dealers.

We want to make clear that we are not merely opposed to ‘illegal’ weapons at the arms fair, we are against the arms fair full stop and everything it represents: the corruption, the human misery, and the profiteering by a narrow elite at the expense of people and planet. We see this private prosecution as a further step towards meeting our objective of discrediting and then stopping the DSEI arms fair for good.

Please support us in this campaign and spread this message.”

For more info see http://www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk