It is unacceptable that the Swedish Armed Forces buy munitions from a company that is involved in violations of international law and human rights. Entering into multimillion-dollar deals with a company like Elbit Systems is not only deeply distasteful, it also goes directly against Sweden’s foreign policy objectives of promoting peace, democracy and sustainable development.
In March, 2022, it was confirmed that the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration had awarded Elbit Systems Ltd. a contract in the amount of approximately $27 million, to provide the Swedish Armed Forces with M339 rounds, 120mm ammunition and Data Setting Units for its Leopard Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).
Despite the Swedish government’s repeated condemnations of the Israeli occupation, the settlement enterprise and the wall, military cooperation with Israel is in full swing.
Elbit Systems Ltd is one of the main suppliers to the Israeli army. Elbit works closely with the Israeli Ministry of Defense and benefits greatly from providing the Israeli military with equipment used to maintain the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Elbit’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are sold on the global market as “combat tested”, which is highlighted as an advantage over competitors. Elbit is also one of the main suppliers of electronic detection systems for the wall in the West Bank and participates in Israel’s construction of a wall around Gaza.
Elbit’s Hermes drones were one of the two main unmanned aircrafts used during Israel’s 2008-9 war on Gaza, which killed over 1,400 Palestinians. Elbit’s 7.5 Skylark mini-UAV was heavily used for support of ground military actions in Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, which killed over 2,200 Palestinians. The Hermes 450s and 900s were also used throughout this attack, during which four young children were killed after an Israeli drone targeted them while playing on a beach. DroneWatch reports that a Hermes drone was involved in the killing of the children. At the time of the 2014 attack, Elbit’s CEO confirmed to Israeli media that “all [Elbit products] were in operational use by the IDF in the recent fighting and proved themselves.” During the most recent war on Gaza, in May 2021, the Elbit CEO claimed that “[the assault] will give a push for the development of laser technology for the interception of missiles, mortar, anti-tank missiles and drones”, by the company. Elbit is also one of the main providers of the electronic detection fence system for the separation wall in the West Bank, and involved in Israel’s construction of a wall around Gaza.
Because Elbit Systems is knowingly participating in and aiding the Israeli occupation and war crimes against the Palestinian people, investors and partners of the company are, by extension, accessories to Israel’s many violations of international law and human rights.
Elbit Systems has been excluded from pension and investment funds around the world over its role in Israel’s military violence. That is also the case in Sweden. Already in 2010, Sweden’s national pension funds (the AP Funds) decided to exclude Elbit Systems from their investments. The AP funds then fully divested from the company. According to AP’s Ethical Council, Elbit was excluded because it could be linked to violations of fundamental conventions and norms through its active development, delivery and maintenance of a custom-made monitoring system for certain parts of the separation wall being built in the West Bank.
According to Elbit, Sweden is an important market for the company and a cornerstone for further expansion in Europe.
International law must be protected. Entering into multimillion-dollar deals with a company like Elbit Systems is not only deeply distasteful, it also goes directly against Sweden’s foreign policy objectives of promoting peace, democracy and sustainable development.
The Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden (PGS)