India is exporting rocket-explosives to Israel amid the Gaza conflict

Last Updated on June 27, 2024 9:48 am

On June 6, Israeli forces bombed the Nuseirat refugee camp in Palestine. Quds News Network released a video on this. It shows the wreckage of a missile fired from an Israeli warplane. A label clearly visible on the debris of the missile read, ‘Made in India.’

Al Jazeera reported this information on Wednesday.

In the early morning of May 15, the cargo ship Borcam arrived at the coast of the port of Cartagena, Spain. The people of Spain raised the Palestinian flag and protested against the ship, which was in the sea not far from the port. They claim that weapons are being taken to Israel by this ship. They called on the authorities to inspect the ‘suspicious’ vessel.

However, before the Spanish government took any decision or action, the ship named Borkam left for the port of Koper in Slovenia after canceling the plan to stop at the Spanish port. Doubts about the matter are more concentrated.

Documents obtained by Al Jazeera show that the ship was loaded with explosive materials brought from India and its final destination was the Israeli port of Ashdod, which is about 30 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

According to marine tracking site data, the ship left Chennai on April 2 and traveled around Africa. The ship took this alternative route to avoid a possible attack by the Houthis in the Red Sea.

These documents were collected informally by the Solidarity Network Against the Palestinian Occupation (RESCOP). According to the documents, Borkam was loaded with 20 tons of rocket engines, 12.5 tons of explosive-laden rockets, 1,500 kg of explosives and 740 kg of charges and cannon propellants.

A confidentiality clause states that all staff, consultants or other persons concerned must not under any circumstances mention the name of IMI Systems or Israel. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, acquired defense firm IMI Systems in 2018.

The German company MLB Manfred Lotarjung Befrakhtung is in charge of the commercial management of the ship. The agency told Al Jazeera that the ship was not carrying any weapons or cargo destined for Israel.

A second ship from India arrived at Cartagena port on 21 May but was not allowed to anchor. According to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the ship Marian Danica left Chennai and was on its way to the Israeli port of Haifa with 27 tons of explosives.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albarez confirmed at a press conference that the ship carrying military supplies for Israel was not allowed to enter a Spanish port.

From these events, it is fairly certain that India is exporting arms to Israel, which is contrary to the country’s foreign policy of ‘solution through dialogue, not military initiative’.

According to analysts, such transactions may have been possible due to the lack of transparency regarding import and export in India.

Zein Hussain, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), told Al Jazeera that it is difficult to say for sure whether such transactions have taken place in the absence of verifiable information.

“However, the relationship between Israel and India has been improving for several years, so it is not impossible for Indian weapons or materials to reach Israel and use them in Gaza.”

Zain Hussain said this video needs to be verified better. However, he said, it is well known that Israel-India are cooperating with each other in the production of missiles.

Sipari also said that Indian company Premier Explosives Limited manufactures solid propellants. It is an important part of rocket motor. It is in demand in the manufacture of MRSAM and LRSAM missiles.

These components are required to build medium- and long-range Barak surface-to-air missiles of Israeli design.

The executive director of the Indian company T. Chowdhury admitted in a March 31 conference call to Israel that it had exported goods during the war in Gaza.

Addressing investors, he said, “We have been able to collect outstanding revenue from Israeli export orders and due to this, our revenue has increased significantly this quarter.”

This statement is mentioned in the official meeting minutes of this meeting.

In that meeting, Chowdhury claimed that Premier Explosives Limited is the ‘only Indian company that is exporting fully assembled rocket motors.’

He also said that his company has started the production of mine-munitions and has already started exporting RDX and HMX explosives.

In January 2024, the company officially stated that they are an exporter of Israel’s ‘Defence and Space’ sector. According to Sipari, their announcement was due to the export of Barak missile propellants.

Al Jazeera tried to contact Premier Explosive in this regard but did not get a response.

Drones of India
India not only deals with Israel in rocket propellants, but also in drones.

In December 2018, Gautam Adani’s company Adani Defense and Aerospace and Israeli company Elbit Systems jointly launched a drone manufacturing plant in Hyderabad.

A joint statement from the two companies at the time of the inauguration said that this is the first time outside of Israel that the Hermes 900 model drone will be produced, which is capable of operating at an altitude of 30,000 feet for 36 hours at a time.

Earlier this year, India announced its first drone ‘Drishti 10 Starliner’, modeled after the Hermes drone.

Sipari said that at the moment drones are being produced for Israeli export at the Hyderabad factory. However, India has not released any information on this yet.

Israel has used numerous drones in the Gaza war.

Elbit’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer Joseph Gaspar said his company is forced to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the needs of the Israeli military.

Seeing an Israeli Hermes drone in the skies over Gaza does not necessarily mean that it came from India, as Israel itself produces such drones, added Zain Hussain.

Adani Group said it had sent a small shipment of drones to Israel, but no weapons were attached to them.

According to the company, we repeat – these drones are for surveillance work. They cannot be used in any attack. We have not exported any drones to Israel after October 7.

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