Spain has purchased weapons from Israel price greater than 1 billion for the reason that escalation in Gaza started | Spain | EUROtoday

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Spain has bought Israeli weapons price greater than 1 billion euros for the reason that present Gaza battle started on October 7, in line with a report by the Barcelona-based Delàs Peace Research Centre. The identification of imports of defence materials of Israeli origin is the principle novelty of the doc. Good as Usual. Analysis of the Spanish arms commerce in 2022-23 and arguments for an arms embargo on Israel.

On April 10, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, assured within the plenary session of Congress, in response to questions from ERC deputy Gabriel Rufián: “Rest assured that, since October 7, [fecha del ataque terrorista de Hamás]Spain does not carry out any arms purchase and sale operations with Israel, none.” In fact, as government sources acknowledged to EL PAÍS at the time, the president made a lapse, since Israeli arms purchases were never suspended. “It would be like shooting ourselves in the foot,” said a senior official.

Unlike what happens with arms exports, there are no complete official statistics on imports. Only in the report The Defence Industry in Spainpublished annually by the Ministry of Defense, contains data corresponding to imports of Israeli military equipment in some years prior to the latest escalation of violence in Gaza: 2015 (31.2 million euros), 2016 (29.1), 2020 (43) and 2021 (47). In the latter year, 1.7% of Spanish defense imports originated in Israel, behind those from Germany (40.5%), France (33.2%), the United States (6.2%) or Canada (3.7%).

Analysis of foreign trade databases (DataComex) allows researchers at the Delàs Centre to conclude that, only in some specific categories of military material, imports from Israel have exceeded 15 million annually since 2019. In addition, as they underline, military relations between the two countries are not limited to arms trade, but include the awarding to Israeli companies or their subsidiaries of contracts with the Spanish Armed Forces or Security Forces; business collaboration to access third markets; research and training projects between universities; or cooperation between intelligence services; as well as transits or stopovers of ships with military material.

The Delàs Center report contains a list of defense equipment contracts awarded to Israeli companies or their subsidiaries since October 7, 2023, for a total value of 1.027 billion euros. The list includes the High Mobility Rocket Launcher System (SILAM) for 576.4 million, the supply of 168 Spike rocket launcher systems for 237.5 million or POD designators for air combat systems for 207.4 million. While the last two are import operations of weapons systems from the Israeli company Rafael, the first is a manufacturing contract in Spain with an Israeli technological partner (Elbit). The report also mentions the American intelligence systems company Palantir, awarded a 16.5 million euro contract by the Spanish Armed Forces, due to its close relations with Israel.

Regarding exports of Spanish military equipment to Israel, the report states, based on statistics from the Secretary of State for Trade, that these amounted to 9.7 million between 2018 and the first half of 2023. The Government has repeatedly assured that since October 7 no arms exports to Israel have been approved, but the Delàs Center has already revealed that in November 2023 ammunition worth 987,000 euros was exported from the Nammo company plant in Palencia to the Israeli firm Elbit. Added to this is the export of a batch of ammunition/projectiles for 125,240 euros in December and armored vehicles for 714,680 euros between October last year and February this year, although, pending the publication of official statistics, in those two cases the final destination of these exports would be the Philippines.

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The government has stated that the exports carried out after 7 October corresponded in all cases to the execution of licences granted previously, since none have been authorised afterwards. According to the report, Spain has been, with a total value of 1.1 million euros, the fifth EU country that has delivered the most arms and ammunition to Israel since the current offensive on Gaza began.

The Delàs Centre is calling for the revocation of export licences already granted in view of the dramatic situation in the Gaza Strip, and for imports to be suspended, which are much more important from an economic point of view, as they “promote the viability of Israel’s military industry and favour the militarisation and military occupation of Gaza”. The researchers point out that, like exports, imports of defence material must have prior administrative authorisation and they are asking for a legal reform to be approved to “limit the enormous discretion that the Government has in this matter, explicitly prohibiting the acquisition of defence material from countries that have committed genocide, crimes against humanity or have attacked civilians or civilian objects”.

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