Elbit Systems' Complicity in the Assault on Gaza 2014
By Who Profits
Elbit Systems, is an Israeli based manufacturer of military, security and surveillance equipment known for its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAVs and land weapons. Over the past decade Elbit systems has gained increasing revenue by selling its products to the Israeli Army.
Over the summer months of 2014, Elbit has reaped an unprecedented profit and made large increase in its sales. This increase coincided with the brutal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 in addition to the Israeli military campaign of June 2014 in the West Bank. Due to its lethal performance in Gaza, the company has earned an international reputation, which helped seal additional contracts with other countries and their respective militaries around the world.
Elbit’s Involvement in the Israeli Occupation – Summer of 2014
The Gaza Strip
Experimenting arms products and crowd control weapons in general and UAVs in particular on the Palestinian population has enabled Israel to become the world’s number one exporter of (UAVs) drones. In fact, more than 50% of Elbit’s revenue in 2013 was derived from exports subject to Israeli export regulations.
In the month of July 2014 alone, during the peak of the assault on the Gaza Strip, Elbit’s profits increased by 6.1%. This is the highest level of increase since 2010 for the company and its valuation on a price-to-earnings basis is near the most expensive in five years. Notabely, Elbit’s ‘Hermes’ drone is one of the most widely used products by the Israeli Army, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The Hermes 450 can carry upto two medium range missiles and has been heavily deployed against civilians in Gaza during the assault this summer in particular.
Furthermore, Elbit’s product the ‘Skylark mini-UAV’ has also been used in military campaigns in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (See below). During the latest assault on Gaza, Elbit's product marked the first time it was used in large quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces. Israeli military personnel have credited Elbit for their Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and the Israeli Chief Artillery Officer, Roy Riften stated that Elbit’s products added‘operational value’ and gave the assault of a ‘boost combat effectiveness’.
The West Bank
The Israeli Army publically admitted their utilization of Elbit’s ‘UAV the Skylark’ in the West Bank for pursuing their military campaign in the month of June 2014 [“Brothers come home” campaign of house arrests]. The Skylark was specifically used in military night raids in the West Bank, through which tens of homes were broken into and more than 60 Palestinian civilians were arrested. Elbit’s surveillance technology was also used to construct and maintain Israel’s apartheid wall on Palestinian land.
As illustrated above, Elbit has directly benefited from Israeli Military campaigns and made substantial profits. This has had a direct and immediate effect on Elbit’s future sales as well. The Electronic Intifada exposed that in the summer of 2014, the Swiss government purchased the drone of Hermes 900 in a $280 million deal. In addition Elbit is further involved in a $1.6 billion joint venture with Thales, a French-based weapons company, in order to develop a drone similar to the Hermes 450 for the UK Ministry of Defense. Lastly, after being tested on the Palestinian population, the Brazilian government purchased a fleet of ‘Hermes’ drones, which were then used to oppress large protests across Brazil against the latest World Cup.
Published in Who Profits