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  • 22 Jul, 2024

India Exports Weapons to Israel Amid Gaza Conflict

India Exports Weapons to Israel Amid Gaza Conflict

As India attempts to maintain diplomatic neutrality, documents obtained by Media and company statements suggest Israel is receiving Indian-made weapons during its ongoing war on Gaza.

In May 2024, two cargo ships carrying explosives and rocket parts from India to Israel faced scrutiny in European ports. The Borkum, carrying 20 tonnes of rocket engines and other explosives, skipped a planned stop in Spain after protests. Another vessel, the Marianne Danica, was denied entry to a Spanish port while transporting 27 tonnes of explosives to Israel.

These incidents highlight India's quiet weapons exports to Israel during the Gaza conflict. According to documents seen by Media, the shipments included rocket engines, explosive charges, and propellants for cannons.

Evidence of Indian-made components in Israeli weapons has also emerged. In June, a video showed missile debris in Gaza labeled "Made in India." Experts note that India and Israel collaborate on missile production, particularly the Barak surface-to-air missile system.

Indian company Premier Explosives Limited has admitted to exporting rocket motors and explosives to Israel amid the current conflict. The company's executive director reported record revenues from Israeli exports in a March investor call.

Beyond missiles, India is involved in producing Israeli-designed drones. Adani Defence & Aerospace partnered with Israel's Elbit Systems to manufacture Hermes 900 and 450 drones in India. These UAVs can be armed with antitank missiles and have been used in previous Gaza conflicts.

While the Adani Group denies exporting UAVs to Israel since October 2023, the possibility that Indian-made drones are being used in Gaza cannot be ruled out.

India's weapons exports to Israel complicate its diplomatic balancing act. Officially, India calls for peace and supports ceasefires while demanding Hamas release captives. Indian leaders consistently argue for dialogue over military action to resolve conflicts.

However, India's relationship with Israel has evolved. After decades of pro-Arab policy, India established formal ties with Israel in 1992. Collaboration accelerated in 1999 when Israel provided weapons during an India-Pakistan conflict.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has further embraced Israel since 2014, referring to Israeli PM Netanyahu as his "friend." India has sometimes abstained from UN votes critical of Israel's actions in Gaza.

Yet India also seeks to maintain good relations with Arab states and position itself as a champion of developing nations. The ruling BJP party, having recently lost its parliamentary majority, may prioritize balanced diplomatic relationships in the Middle East.

India's weapons exports to Israel, while significant, remain largely under the radar due to a lack of transparency. As the conflict in Gaza continues, India's attempt to walk a diplomatic tightrope between supporting Israel and maintaining its broader foreign policy objectives faces increased scrutiny.