Israel’s arms industry: Testing ground on Palestinians

Jordan News takes a deep dive into Israel’s military complex by analyzing three published reports from 2006, 2016, and 2023

tank tanks
(Photo: Twitter/X)
AMMAN — In 2016, the author of “The Cruel Experiments of Israel’s Arms Industry,” originally published in Electronic Intifada, Matt Kennard highlighted the controversial experiments of Israel's arms industry in the Electronic Intifada. The story centers around Ramallah's main hospital, where human rights investigator Iyad Haddad reveals the grim reality of Israel's occupation through his macabre collection of spent ammunition and tear gas canisters, accumulated over three decades of documenting Israeli forces' violence in the occupied territories. Amidst Israel’s war on Gaza, Jordan News takes a deep dive into three reports on Israel’s weapons being tested on Palestinians.اضافة اعلان

A testing ground for Israeli weaponry
Haddad contends that frequent protests against Israel's wall and settlements unintentionally become a testing ground for Israeli weaponry. Neve Gordon, a politics professor, describes the occupied territories as a laboratory where Israel refines, tests, and markets new arms, strategically presenting them as "battle-proven" to the global market.

Showcase the effectiveness of weapons
Abdallah Abu Rahmah, coordinator of the Popular Struggle Committee in Bilin, shares how his village's decade-long protests result in night raids and arrests by the Israeli military, which he claims are used to showcase the effectiveness of weapons like skunk water for international marketing.

Major players in Israel's arms industry, including Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit, Rafael, and Israel Military Industries, dominate the narrative. 75 percent of weapons exported are tested on Palestinians, raising concerns among critics like human rights lawyer Eitay Mack, who questions the morality of using Palestinians as test subjects for foreign arms companies.

5 percent of the GDP
Against the backdrop of Israel allocating more than 5 percent of its GDP to the military, the nation emerges as a significant global player in the arms trade. While some argue that marketing weapons as "battle-proven" is a legitimate strategy, critics emphasize the ethical concerns surrounding the exploitation of occupied territories as testing grounds.

Yet again, the story resurfaced in August, with writer Anthony Lowenstein, blatantly stating that the Israeli state uses a range of tools and technologies to “battle-test” its weapons on besieged Palestinians.

The country’s success is attributed to using it on the occupied population
The country's success is attributed to its experience in controlling an occupied population, particularly the Palestinians and exporting the technology and tactics developed during the occupation.

Israel's arms sales reached a record US$12.5 billion in 2022
Israel's arms sales reached a record US$12.5 billion in 2022. Israeli technology, such as facial recognition tools and drones, to test and perfect weapons on Palestinians. While there are some public opponents of Israel's arms trade within the country, such as human rights lawyer Eitay Mack and Orthodox rabbi Avidan Freedman, Lowenstein questioned the credibility of those living in illegal settlements or with histories of settler violence against Palestinians.

An insurance policy against potential future pressure on the state
The expansion of Israel's weapons industry is seen as an insurance policy against potential future pressure on the state. Many states worldwide rely on Israeli spyware, defense equipment, and weapons, which makes them less likely to condemn Israel's permanent occupation of Palestine.

And yet again, the question of Israel’s mass weaponry returns
On November 17, Paddy Dowling from Al Jazeera, took it on, yet again. Israel’s massive weaponry. In footage on October 22 the Israeli army released footage on October 22 of its Maglan commando unit deploying a new precision-guided 120mm mortar bomb called the Iron Sting, against Hamas in Gaza.

The bomb’s Haifa-based manufacturer, Elbit Systems, has been advertising its qualities on the public relations page of its website since March 2021, when it was integrated into the Israeli military.

Unknown weapon
According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, in a statement in early November, he said that observed severe burns on the bodies of Palestinians who were killed and wounded by Israel’s bombs – whether caused by an unknown weapon or not – is something they have not seen in previous conflicts”.

Dr. Ahmed el-Mokhallalati from the burn and plastic surgery division at al-Shifa Hospital, in an interview with the Toronto Star, described the wounds as “very deep – third and fourth-degree burns and the skin tissue is impregnated with black particles and most of the skin thickness and all the layers underneath are burned down to the bone.”

As the war between Israel and Gaza continues, the specific weaponry employed since October 7 remains unknown. However, the uncertainty surrounding the current weaponry does not negate Israel's historical use of such weapons against Palestinians.

Dirty secret of Israel’s weapons exports: They’re tested on Palestinians
Israel’s deadly weapons laboratory aimed at Palestinians
The Cruel Experiments of Israel’s Arms Industry

Read more Region and World
Jordan News