“A testing field for its weapons” How do Israeli arms companies profit from the war on Gaza? “A testing field for its weapons” How do Israeli arms companies profit from the war on Gaza?

“A testing field for its weapons” How do Israeli arms companies profit from the war on Gaza?

“A testing field for its weapons” How do Israeli arms companies profit from the war on Gaza?

Over the course of 91 days of the bloody Israeli occupation aggression against Gaza, emerging Israeli arms companies and military technologies have been testing their products on the lives of Palestinian civilians. This made the sector a large laboratory for these military industries to test the severity of their lethality on civilians.

These experiments are not the desire of private companies alone. Rather, the Israeli army has intensified its calls to these companies in order to exploit the opportunity and provide them with this new weapon. While international reports have consistently indicated that most of the weapons that Israel exports to its allies, it first tests them on Palestinian civilians.

A field of experiments and an opportunity to profit

In a recent report , the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz wrote that the experiences of emerging Israeli weapons and military technology companies (Startabs) are witnessing a remarkable expansion, through their use of the war in Gaza as a testing field for these deadly industries. This is in addition to the significant recovery in its transaction numbers, due to the increase in its sales to the Israeli army.

The newspaper wrote that the war in Gaza provides opportunities for expansion of the Israeli military budget, and thus provides new opportunities for emerging companies in the field of military industries.

Among these companies are "SpearUAV", which manufactures suicide drones, "InfiniDome", which works on developing systems to protect drones from jamming, "SmartShooter", which develops smart systems for firearms that help soldiers hit moving targets, and "Axon Vision", which operates... To integrate artificial intelligence systems into armored vehicles and drones, which helps identify targets and improve accuracy.

InfiniDome CEO, Omar Sharar, told Haaretz, saying: “We have been working day and night, especially since October 7, to provide solutions to the Israeli army, to allow its units and tools to deal with the interference to GPS signals throughout the country.” Almost (...) Our technology already protects drones operating in the Gaza Strip, and we are working with operational units and soldiers to understand their needs and continue developing the product.”

For its part, SpearUAV explained that the war has accelerated the process of developing specific products that the army needs, including the small “Viper” suicide drone, which can be easily launched from infantry soldiers or armored vehicles to locate, track, and attack targets by colliding with them and destroying them. Self. The company has two models capable of carrying a warhead weighing 300 and 750 grams.

The smart gun sighting system developed by SmartShooter is widely used in Gaza, as it locks onto the target and tracks it using image processing, enabling the bullet to be fired only at the moment when a hit is guaranteed. According to several statements issued by the Israeli army spokesman, soldiers used this scope to shoot down Hamas drones.

In addition, the Israeli army is urging these companies to test their weapons during the devastation of Gaza. The Executive Vice President of Elbit Systems previously admitted that the Israeli Ministry of Defense urged them to “early deliver existing contracts” and benefit from “development programs in the field.”

The director of the Israeli military industry giant stated that this matter “accelerates the introduction of new products into the army, air force, etc. (...) and we look forward to this continuing in the near future as well.” According to him, the company achieved a jump in quarterly revenues, rising from $1.35 billion to $1.5 billion.

Continuing crimes

According to a report by the Institute for Palestine Studies, the work of Elbit Systems was documented as “one example of the Israeli occupation employing Palestinians, their lands, and their places of residence in order to develop weapons and promote them around the world to reap profits.” This is an example of how Israel's use of the Palestinians to test new weapons is not dependent on the recent war.

In 2006, the Israeli military trialled the Hermes 450 and 900 drones, manufactured by Elbit Systems, extensively in Gaza and the West Bank, using them in attacks and surveillance missions. During the 2014 Gaza War, these two drones were responsible for about 35% of the deaths resulting from Israeli bombing.

In 2018, the Israeli army took advantage of the Return March protests in Gaza, in order to test a number of weapons , including marches that dropped tear gas canisters that could kill demonstrators, in addition to other marches that sprayed gas in the air and dropped rubber bombs, causing ... It caused permanent disabilities to hundreds of Palestinians and claimed the lives of at least 115.

In the West Bank, Palestinian human rights investigator Iyad Haddad documented dozens of victims of Israeli weapons experiments. Haddad said : "They use us so that they can learn how to use every type of weapon... which makes the Palestinian protests useful for the Israelis because it makes this area a laboratory for their weapons."

After testing it on the Palestinians, Israel offers these deadly weapons for sale to its allies, especially in the European Union and North America.


“Architect of the Square Unit” and one of the founders of Al-Qassam Who is Al-Arouri who terrified Israel?

“Architect of the Square Unit” and one of the founders of Al-Qassam Who is Al-Arouri who terrified Israel?

As soon as the Hamas movement announced, on Tuesday evening, the assassination of the Deputy Head of the Political Bureau, Saleh Al-Arouri, and two leaders of the Al-Qassam Brigades, in an Israeli drone bombing that targeted the movement’s office in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, until angry and denouncing demonstrations took place regarding his assassination, starting from his hometown, the village of Aroura, north of the city of Ram. God, then it extended to include all Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and refugee camps abroad.

Popular anger exploded and Palestinians took to the streets to mourn the passing of Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, one of the most important resistance leaders who represented and reflected during his years of struggle the Palestinian point of view on how to deal with the Israeli occupation. He summed it up in a television interview weeks before his assassination, in which he affirmed that “there is no negotiation with... Occupation", in light of the ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip since the seventh of last October, which left hundreds of thousands martyred, wounded and missing, which is the official position of the Hamas movement rejecting any prisoner exchange deal until the end of the war.


Yards unit engineer

Saleh Al-Arouri is considered one of the most prominent figures who combined military and political action, and called for Palestinian national unity in deed and word at the political level. On the field and military levels, Al-Arouri was the “architect of the unity of the arenas,” an idea that emerged to resist the occupation from several arenas that Israel separated geographically, and was brought together by the responses of the resistance that launched in response to its crimes from Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and the occupied 48 territories.

The idea expanded to include the “Sword of Jerusalem” battle in May 2021 and the round of missile bombing carried out by the resistance from the squares of Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, in response to the crimes of the occupation in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel's fears of Al-Arouri were not limited to the idea of ​​unity in the resistance areas in confronting it. Rather, it was disturbed by the leader whom it considered a primary driver of the West Bank and an organizer of the cells and resistance operations there. Rather, Israel's fears had many branches, as he is a man of Palestinian reconciliation who succeeded in meeting with the leaders of the Fatah movement to discuss the issue. Ending the division. He is the leader who participated in engineering the Shalit deal, in addition to having extensive relations at the political and military levels in Iran and with the leaders of the Lebanese Hezbollah. He was also among those who called for “exploiting every possible front in the vicinity of Palestine.”

Who is that leader who was one of the first to establish the “Martyr Izz al-Din al-Qassam” Brigades in the West Bank, worked inside and outside Palestine, and exploited his presence in the occupation prisons to enable the work of the al-Qassam Brigades in the West Bank, and combined military and political action?


Establishing the Al-Qassam Brigades and empowering Hamas in the West Bank

In the village of Aroura, northwest of the city of Ramallah, Saleh Muhammad Suleiman Khasib Al-Arouri was born in 1966, to a family of peasants. He began attending his town’s mosque since his childhood, and was brought up in a religious upbringing that stemmed from his conservative family, and was influenced by his father, who memorized the Holy Qur’an, and by the imam of a mosque. The village Sheikh Saeed Maatan, whose origins go back to the village of Burqa, east of Ramallah, was associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, before the founding of the Hamas movement.

From Aroura to Hebron, Al-Arouri studied at Medina University, joined the Faculty of Sharia, and was one of the most prominent activists of the Islamic Bloc, then became its official, after it was formed a few years before he joined the university by a number of Muslim Brotherhood activists.

With the outbreak of the first intifada in December 1987, and the founding of the Hamas movement, Al-Arouri moved from Islamic work activities to participating in establishing the movement in the area of ​​villages north of Ramallah, starting with his village of Aroura, which became the center of the movement’s activity, and moving to the villages of Ramallah, which Working there to strengthen the presence of the Hamas movement was not easy, but he and other people were able to enable the presence of the movement, including the martyr Abd al-Rahman al-Arouri, one of the leaders of the “Martyr Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” who was responsible for securing and providing logistical support for the persecuted Yahya Ayyash, Muhammad al-Deif and others. The martyr Amjad Hassan from the village of Deir Sudan, who is considered the first martyr of the movement in Ramallah.


18 years in the occupation prisons.. He entered as a young man and emerged as a leader

In 1990, Al-Arouri was subjected to his first administrative detention (without charge and a secret file) for a period of 4 months, during which he met Sheikh Adel Awadallah and Ibrahim Hamed, who at that time held leadership positions in the movement, and later became the most prominent leaders of the movement’s military organization in the West Bank, and the three agreed to build an organization. A soldier in the West Bank, who had previously been exposed after numerous attempts, due to the repeated arrests of his members. Then several groups were formed in the West Bank and Jerusalem, most notably those formed by the martyr Yahya Ayyash and the freed prisoner Zaher Jabareen in the northern West Bank.

Later, Al-Arouri succeeded in organizing military action, forming groups and supplying them with weapons, and carried out operations against the Israeli occupation, including the Muhammad Bisharat operation on the “French Hill” in Jerusalem in 1991, which resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier.

In conjunction with this, Al-Arouri opened lines of communication with the leadership of the Hamas movement abroad, such as member of the movement’s political bureau, Musa Abu Marzouk, who was in the United States of America at the time, in addition to cooperation with the persecuted people who came from Gaza to the West Bank, such as Imad Aql, Muhammad Al-Deif, Bashir Hammad, Salah Jadallah, and Talal Nassar. But the matter did not last long, as the occupation forces arrested Al-Arouri in 1992, after the military cells were exposed, and he was subjected to a harsh interrogation that lasted several months, in the “Al-Maskobiyya” center in Jerusalem and in the Tulkarm Central Prison, but he did not admit his responsibility for the operations, and was sentenced to five years in prison. Years.

During the period of his detention, Al-Arouri emerged as a leader among the prisoners, and maintained close relations with the Palestinian factions. As a result of new confessions against him, he was subjected to a new and harsh round of investigation for several months and was sentenced to another five years, to which five years of administrative detention were added later after the end of his sentence, during which he was removed several times. In solitary confinement cells.

Al-Arouri was released from the occupation prisons after 15 years of detention in 2007, during the period in which the Hamas movement won the Palestinian legislative elections, and he was known for his support for Hamas’ candidacy for the elections, and after a short period the division occurred between the Hamas and Fatah movements in the Gaza Strip, in June 2007, It spread to the West Bank, and the movement was again restricted by the Palestinian Authority and the attacks on its institutions, which brought Al-Arouri back to field work. As a result, the Israeli occupation detained him again in administrative detention, which lasted for three years, completing 18 years in the occupation prisons on a sporadic basis.


Engineering the Shalit deal from inside prisons

The Hamas movement captured the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, while Al-Arouri was in the occupation prisons, which helped with his contribution to the completion of an exchange deal, which resulted after negotiations were held with Hamas leaders in the prisons, including Yahya Al-Sinwar, Abdel Khaleq Al-Natsheh, Muhammad Jamal Al-Natsheh, Muhammad Abu Tair, and Tawfiq Abu Naim. Aziz Dweik and Al-Arawi, then the occupation offered the prisoners a meeting with representatives of Egyptian intelligence, but the negotiations stopped for Israeli political reasons, as the government of Ehud Olmert fell and Benjamin Netanyahu came to power.

In 2010, after the occupation released Al-Arouri, the occupation committed one of its biggest follies, which it later regretted, by deporting Al-Arouri outside Palestine for 3 years, with the aim of disciplining him, so that the latter took advantage of the opportunity to arrange the Palestinian political and military scene, as he went to Syria, where the leadership was The movement was there, and he stayed there for 3 years and left after the outbreak of the Syrian revolution. Then he went to Turkey, and began participating with the negotiating delegation in the meetings with the Egyptian mediator, in order to complete the “Loyalty to the Free” deal until it was completed in 2011, under which more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners were liberated. He lived in several countries, the last of which was Lebanon.

Since that time, Saleh Al-Arouri has worked to form resistance cells in the West Bank, some of which succeeded in carrying out operations, such as the kidnapping of three settlers near Hebron after killing them in 2014, an operation for which Al-Arouri claimed responsibility during one of his conferences in Turkey, and thus he attempted to Restoring the movement’s military wing in the West Bank.

A photo of Saleh Al-Arouri during the Al-Qassam Brigades’ handover of captured soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, as part of the “Loyalty to the Free” deal (Palestinian media)
A man of national unity

In 2010, Saleh Al-Arouri became a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, and in 2017 he assumed the position of Vice President of the Hamas Movement, after winning the elections for the movement’s Political Bureau and assuming responsibility for the West Bank region. In the same year, he participated in signing another reconciliation agreement with the Fatah movement in Cairo, to relieve pressure on Residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, but the agreement did not succeed.

In 2018, Al-Arouri headed a delegation from the Hamas movement, consisting of Maher Salah, the movement’s leader outside Palestine, and members of the Political Bureau, Musa Dodin, Musa Abu Marzouk, Izzat Al-Rishq, and Hossam Badran, to discuss the reconciliation file, in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. The Fatah movement’s delegation included members of the Central Committee, Azzam Al-Ahmad and Rawhi. Fattouh, Minister Hussein Al-Sheikh, and the head of the General Intelligence Service in Ramallah, Majed Farraj.

In 2020, contacts took place between Al-Arouri and a member of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, and they held a joint press meeting and then meetings between various Palestinian leaders, arriving at an agreement on a date for holding comprehensive elections, before Mahmoud Abbas decided to cancel them under the title “postponement due to rejection of the occupation.” conducted in Jerusalem.

In 2018, Al-Arouri headed a delegation from the Hamas movement to discuss the reconciliation issue with the Fatah movement, headed by Azzam Al-Ahmad, in the Egyptian capital, Cairo (Reuters)
Al-Aqsa flood and his assassination expected

As soon as the Palestinian resistance rockets were launched on the morning of October 7, and before the Commander-in-Chief of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad al-Deif, announced the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, it came to everyone’s minds that the resistance was bombing Israel in response to the latter’s assassination of a leading figure from its cadres abroad. Al-Arouri was the first to come to everyone's mind, as only a few months had passed since the latter appeared in a military uniform and with a rifle in front of him, after the occupation threatened to assassinate him.

This matter also came to the mind of his family in the West Bank, as his sister stated on Tuesday, after his assassination was announced, that she had made contact with him after a rumor spread about his assassination, on the morning of last October 7, which he denied by responding to her.


In previous interviews with him, Al-Arouri said: “Our blood and our souls are neither more precious nor dearer than any martyr, and it is not permissible for the mother of any martyr to feel that the blood of a leader is dearer and more valuable than the blood of her son,” adding that “the martyr who preceded us a day is better than us,” which is what It indicates his asceticism in life and the expectation that he will be targeted at any time.

In this regard, Al-Arouri confirmed in a previous interview with Al-Mayadeen TV that Israel’s repeated threat to assassinate him will not leave any impact or change and will not change his convictions or path one iota. He added: "We are believers, and we hope that our lives will end with the martyrdom that we are proud of," noting that martyrdom is the great victory in the eyes of the resistance leaders.


In his interview, Al-Arouri stressed that the resistance leaders “are part of the Palestinian people and do not differ from all the people,” recalling that “all the Palestinian resistance factions presented martyred leaders at all levels,” stressing that “this is not considered strange to Hamas and the various resistance movements.”

Regarding his position on the Al-Aqsa flood operation, Al-Arouri said, in a previous interview with Al-Jazeera before his martyrdom: “The occupation will not break the will of our people and will fail to control the Gaza Strip.” He stressed that there will be no negotiations with the occupation army regarding the exchange of prisoners until the end of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Saleh Al-Arouri confirmed that Operation Al-Aqsa Flood came in anticipation of an attack that Israel intended to launch on the Gaza Strip immediately after the end of the Jewish holidays. He said: “The defensive plan for the operation is stronger than the offensive plan that astonished Israel and surprised the world.” Al-Arouri stressed that the Qassam fighters were instructed from the beginning to adhere to the instructions of the Islamic religion in wars, which are not to kill civilians, women, children and the elderly, not to harm people’s civil interests, and to be content only with fighting soldiers and militants.

He explained the reasons for some of the chaos that occurred at that time, that when some of the people of the Gaza Strip heard of the collapse of the border with the Gaza envelope, they rushed to enter the envelope, while some Al-Qassam fighters were forced to clash with some security guards and gunmen in the settlements, which led to civilian deaths.

He stressed that the Hamas movement "cannot harm civilians or prisoners and acts in accordance with international laws of war," and that the West, which accuses the Palestinian resistance of committing crimes against humanity, ignores that the war launched by Israel against them was based on targeting civilians, stressing that the Palestinians are fighting to ensure that... The world has the right to live on the territory of their country like the rest of the peoples of the world.

Al-Arouri was assassinated by an air strike with three missiles from an Israeli drone, on the evening of Tuesday, January 2, 2024, in Beirut, with 7 martyrs and 11 wounded. He was accompanied by the two leaders of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement, Samir Fandi and Azzam Al-Aqra, and others: Mahmoud Zaki Shaheen. , Muhammad Al-Rayes, Muhammad Bashasha, and Ahmed Hammoud.
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