Canada is purchasing a “civilian” version of the Hermes 900 drone made by Israel’s largest privately-owned arms company, Elbit Systems, Electronic Intifada reported.
The deal which was announced in December by Canada’s transport ministry is worth $28 million.
As Israeli media reported, the Hermes 900 was first “tested” by ‘Israel’ during its 2014 war on Gaza, when it killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children, in attacks that frequently obliterated entire families.
“The air force used the Hermes 900 in Gaza in the final days of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, even though it was still in the initial stages of being adopted by the IDF,” said the Globes, Israel Business News.
Aa a major weapons supplier to the Israeli military, Elbit was deeply involved in, and reaped huge profits from, that attack on Gaza.
Canada is greenwashing the purchase from Elbit by claiming the drones will be used for surveillance of the Arctic region, including “to detect oil spills, survey ice and marine habitats.”
The Trudeau government claims that this purchase will help “to keep our waters clean and safe.”
In fact, what it will do is put money into the hands of Israel’s blood-soaked arms industry, effectively rewarding it for perpetrating war crimes whose investigation and prosecution Trudeau opposes.
Canada opposed the ICC ruling that it has jurisdiction to open a criminal investigation into ‘Israel’ for war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, saying it “does not recognize a Palestinian state.”
“Canada is firmly committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We continue to support the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. The creation of a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties,” Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said.
“Until such negotiations succeed, Canada’s longstanding position remains that it does not recognize a Palestinian state and therefore does not recognize its accession to international treaties, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Canada has communicated this position to the Court on various occasions.”
Canada is firmly committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until such negotiations succeed, Canada’s longstanding position remains the same. We will continue to support the @IntlCrimCourt and its critical work.
My statement: pic.twitter.com/nbhB0bWUeL
— Marc Garneau (@MarcGarneau) February 7, 2021
While the Trudeau government claims to be a global champion of human rights, it has massively expanded its arms trade with Saudi Arabia, despite that country’s brutal war on Yemen.
Last month, activists protested the Trudeau policy by blocking the entrance of a Hamilton, Ontario, factory that ships weapons to the Saudis.
More photos from today's action…activists blocked trucks at @PaddockTrans, a Hamilton-area transportation company involved in shipping Canadian-made, light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. #CanadaStopArmingSaudi#YemenCantWait#StopArmingSaudi pic.twitter.com/ncmc47vA39
— World BEYOND War Canada (@WBWCanada) January 25, 2021
And now Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, an advocacy group, is urging Canadians to write the Trudeau government opposing the Elbit deal.
“Through this purchase, Canada directly supports the profits of a weapons company responsible for ongoing human rights violations against Palestinians,” CJPME says in an action alert.
As CJPME notes in a useful backgrounder, Elbit brags that the “civilian” drones Trudeau’s government is purchasing draw on the “legacy” of its killer drones used on Palestinians.
Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems is deeply involved in violations of human rights. Why should Canada give it $36m?
— Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (@CJPME) February 10, 2021