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Netherlands signs $55m deal for arms from Israel’s Elbit Systems

August 22, 2023 at 2:37 pm

Pro-Palestinian protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration to protest Dutch government-backed arms exhibition, hosting companies such as Elbit Systems in Rotterdam central station in February 2022 [Charles M Vella/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Israel and the Netherlands signed a four-year arms deal worth $55 million, Israel’s Defence Ministry announced yesterday.

Israel’s Elbit Systems, a company which sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians, will supply a ReDrone Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems, including providing logistical, training and support services.

According to a statement released by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the installation of counter-drone systems at the country’s air bases and the Den Helder naval port will provide protection against drones weighing up to 20 kilogrammes.

“The counter-UAS systems help to protect the armed forces units and the main weapons systems from enemy action, and can also be used to protect essential non-military infrastructure and processes in the Netherlands,” added the ministry.

Oren Sabag, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR & EW, said: “The growing threat of drones creates an increasing demand for our Counter UAS solutions. We have leveraged our technology of advanced radar, signal intelligence, electro-optic, and electronic warfare technologies to develop an advanced, open, and future-ready solution for this emerging requirement of our customers.”

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The deal comes only two months after the Dutch nation signed an arms’ deal worth $305 million with Israel; considered one of the largest arms agreements between Israel and a European country in recent years.

Moreover, according to the Times of Israel, there have been previous Israeli arms and defence equipment sales to the Netherlands, but those were considered to be private deals by various companies and not government-to-government contracts.

Elbit manufactures 85 per cent of Israel’s military drone fleet, not only arming the Israeli military, but also operating the drones alongside military personnel, directly assisting them in their attacks on Palestinians.