Request govt cancel multi-million dollar military purchase from Israel

24 May

Three of Roboteam’s robotic solutions. Along the besieged Gaza border fence, an unmanned ground vehicle has patrolled since 2014. It carries a 360-degree camera and loudspeaker. Later models are mounted with a weapon. [photo credit: SHAI DVIR]

Palestine Solidarity Network (NZ) press release, Thursday, 23 May, 2019

The Palestine Solidarity Network has written to Minister of Defence Ron Mark asking him to urgently cancel a reported New Zealand Defence Force multi-million-dollar purchase of military equipment from an Israeli company.

The report from the Jerusalem Post [in full below] is here:

https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Tel-Aviv-company-to-supply-robots-to-New-Zealand-Defense-Force-590394

Military equipment from Israel is tested on the civilian population of occupied Palestine by a brutal Israeli regime which murders unarmed civilians – particularly young boys – with impunity.

The government will be complicit with this ruthless occupation and associated war crimes should the deal go ahead.

We have requested an urgent meeting with the minister to discuss the proposed purchase.

Palestinian groups have repeatedly called for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the Israeli regime which across the world is seen as an apartheid state. New Zealand gave support to the struggle against apartheid South Africa through boycotts and we should do the same to help isolate apartheid Israel.

The Jerusalem Post announcement:

By Eytan Halon, Jerusalem Post , 22 May, 2019

Tel Aviv company to supply robots to New Zealand Defense Force

Roboteam will supply a family of robots that operate on a wireless mesh network, a communications network based on radio nodes controlled from a single control unit.

Tel Aviv-based tactical ground robotic system developer Roboteam has won a tender to supply the New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) with dozens of remotely-controlled robots, the company announced on Wednesday.

While the value of the deal has not been specified, it is estimated to be worth millions of dollars. Roboteam was awarded the bid through its partnership with Trakka Tech, an Australian provider of solutions for critical mission requirements.

Roboteam will supply a family of robots that operate on a wireless mesh network, a communications network based on radio nodes controlled from a single control unit.

The company will equip the NZDF with three robotic products. It will supply its Transportable Interoperable Ground Robot, an 80 kg. robot designed to handle suspicious packages, hazardous materials and gather information, and its Micro Tactical Ground Robot, a 10 kg. mobile robot providing 360-degree peripheral vision and an advanced arm capable of four degrees of freedom.

It will also supply the NZDF with its Individual Robotic Intelligence System, a miniature, deployable and ruggedized unmanned vehicle system weighing only 1.5 kg. and able to operate in small, cramped environments, transferring an image operator to an android device or to the unified control unit.

“We are proud that the New Zealand Defense Force has chosen our family of life-saving robotic platforms as a comprehensive solution to its operational needs,” said Roboteam CEO Elad Levy, who co-founded the company in 2009 with Yossi Wolf.

“This choice demonstrates the superiority of the advanced technological solution we have developed in recent years, which consists of various systems, each unique in their own right, and with the added operational value of the systems working as a single unit,” Levy said. “We will continue to develop and improve the innovative operational concept that is being offered to other users around the world, and we believe that this is only the first step that will lead to additional successes.”

To support the tender, Roboteam will establish a dedicated robotics support laboratory in Australia, that will also handle the company’s numerous clients in Asia Pacific.

The company currently sell its products in more than 20 countries worldwide, including the United States, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

8 Responses to “Request govt cancel multi-million dollar military purchase from Israel”

  1. Patricia Mary Reesby May 24, 2019 at 8:46 am #

    That is appalling. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t go ahead.

  2. Lois Griffiths May 24, 2019 at 9:16 am #

    his is VERY VERY BAD!!! It’s immoral. Israel has a thriving ‘population-control industry’. All of its ‘products’ including drones,including weapons , have been ‘battle-tested’..on Palestinians. Israel sells to thuggish regimes..like Bolsonaro’s. We not only should not be buying from Israel , the Israel Embassy should be sent packing.

  3. Debbie Abbas May 24, 2019 at 9:33 am #

    This is a very disappointing decision and one that will haunt this government for many years to come! We must vigorously oppose it!

  4. Mary K Dearsley May 24, 2019 at 11:11 am #

    NZ must not go ahead with this contract. It is supporting apartheid Israel in its atrocities towards Palestinian people. It was NO to apartheid South Africa, it is NO to Apartheid Israel today.

    • Debbie Kennedy May 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

      Do not purchase ANYthing from israel – not 1 red cent!!!

  5. jag37777 May 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

    Ron Mark is a grubby little right wing militarist.
    The Arderne regime is no better than Key etc. J

  6. Ken May 25, 2019 at 4:45 am #

    To support Israel particularly by buying weapons associated with war while they genocide the palistinions is totally disgusting and so against our ethical history of not supporting injustice. Shame in all so called kiwi leaders who will allow this.

  7. Darlene June 2, 2019 at 10:52 am #

    What is NZ thinking?We should have nothing to do with these robots. Think of who they were tested on!

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