Tuesday, March 5, 2024

India-Israel joint venture manufactures, exports ‘killer’ drones for Gaza genocide: report

Reports suggest that a Hyderabad-based weapon manufacturing company, partly owned by the Adani group, has dispatched over 20 military drones to the Israeli military.

Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd exported Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Israel, similar to those being widely used by the occupation forces in the ongoing genocidal war on Gaza.

The news of the sale came out as a report was published by Shephard Media, a well-known defence-related website, on February 2.

According to the report, the UAVs were delivered with fully assembled carbon composite aero-structures produced at the 50,000 sq. ft Adani facility in Hyderabad. It was also mentioned that the manufacturers used Hermes 900 kits and necessary tools like sensors and engines, provided by  Israel’s Elbit Systems, for the assembly process.

Last week, The Wire sources verified the information after talking to some sources at Adani group, off the record.

This reveals how India is actively complicit in the inhumane military operations of the Israeli state in Gaza, while the Modi regime officially pretends to seek an immediate cease-fire.

India had initially expressed its unconditional solidarity with Israel following the October 7 “Al Aqsa Floods” operations carried out by Hamas. 

After abstaining from responding to a resolution in the UN General Assembly calling for a humanitarian pause in October 2023, two months later, it voted in favour of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Notably, judges on The Hague Court of Appeals in the Netherlands have ordered the Dutch government on Monday to end the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, “citing a clear risk of violations of international law.”

If compared, the Indian export to Israel accounts for violations of equal gravity.

Shir Hever, the military embargo coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee, termed India’s ties with Israel as “shameful”, given India’s long history under colonial rule.

“Hermes 900 drones are used to bomb defenceless civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” he told Middle East Eye.

“As Israel refuses to abide by the ICJ decision to refrain from actions under Article 2 of the Convention to prevent Genocide, third states such as India have the responsibility to enforce an arms embargo and not be complicit in the genocide,” Hever added.

Hever has extensively written about the privatisation of Israeli security.

It was in 2018, that Adani Defence and Aerospace joined hands with Israel’s Elbit Systems to establish a $15-million weapon manufacturing unit in Hyderabad.

When The Wire contacted the Israeli defence firm, a spokesperson replied that they could “confirm that Elbit Systems collaborates with Adani, which is a supplier to our UAS [Unmanned Aerial Systems] supply chain”.

“We cannot comment on the details of specific contracts, including identifying suppliers and the content they provide to different customers,” the respondent added.

Drones are central to Israel’s operations in Gaza. Hermes 900, with high endurance capability ranging to 30 hours in one go, provides crucial surveillance services for Israel.

Apart from surveillance, they help in delivering small laser-guided bombs in Gaza.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,473 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,106 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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