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‘France provided Israel with weapons used to bomb civilians in Gaza’

June 19, 2024 at 11:03 am

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem on October 25, 2023 [GPO/ Handout – Anadolu Agency]

France has approved the sale of weapons equipment used by Israel to bomb civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, including a hospital, an investigation by the French non-profit media outlet Disclose revealed on Monday.

Dozens of classified documents obtained by the outlet revealed that French IT company the Thales Group has recently delivered electronic components used to construct Israel’s Hermes 900 armed drones. France owns a 26 per cent stake in the company.

The investigation showed that “the French company delivered to Israel the communication equipment during 2024,” despite repeated confirmations by the French defence ministry that “French arms exports to [Israel] were limited to defensive military equipment used in the Iron Dome to confront Palestinian resistance rockets.”

The outlet quoted the head of Israel’s Squadron 166, which flies Hermes 900 assault drones, as admitting to targeting a hospital in Khan Yunis in February following France’s delivery of the surveillance and targeting equipment.

“At least eight of these transponders were supposed to be flown to Israel between December 2023 and the end of May 2024,” said Disclose. “That’s several months after the first aerial bombings. Two transponders were delivered in 2024… The other six are reported to have been stopped by French customs.”

According to the outlet, the French armed forces ministry’s Directorate General for International Relations stated that the eight TSC 4000 IFF transponders are not allowed to be “sold, gifted, leased nor transformed without the prior agreement of the French government.”

Since 7 October, the Israeli occupation forces have continued to bombard the besieged Gaza Strip, killing 37,343 Palestinians and wounding 85,372 others. Around 1.7 million people have been displaced, according to the UN, amid massive destruction of civilian infrastructure.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. The occupation state denies the allegation.

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