Canada Must Stop Supporting Israeli Weapons Industry

Canada Must Stop Supporting Israeli Weapons Industry

As published in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) – June/July 2022

Canada recently signed a $36 million contract to buy Hermes Starliner drones from Elbit, an Israeli company that also manufactures the cluster bombs, bullets and corrosive white phosphorus shells used to attack both Hamas and civilians in Gaza.

The Starliner is a civilian version of the armed drones the Israeli military employs to surveil and bombard Gaza and West Bank targets. It carries cameras and sensors instead of Hellfire missiles. Elbit also supplies surveillance technology for the illegal Separation Wall and produces parts for Israeli tanks and war planes deployed against Palestinians.

Transport Canada says that the new Canadian drones will be employed to, “…keep Canadian waters safe, and to monitor pollution…”.Technologically-advanced Canada could easily manufacture its own drones for this and other important tasks.

Canada’s choice of Israeli drones violates its obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty that forbids weapons sales to nations engaged in human rights abuses. It is wrong for Canada to support a foreign company that profits from supplying the weapons and technology required to sustain the illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as the Gaza blockade.