Elbit Systems Ltd

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Israel's largest weapons manufacturer. Its weapons are routinely used in war crimes against Palestinian civilians and its surveillance systems are used in Palestine and along the U.S.–Mexico border.

Elbit Systems Ltd, headquartered in Israel, designs, manufactures, and sells munitions, combat vehicles, drones, electronic warfare systems, cybersecurity technologies, and other weapons and surveillance systems. It also manufactures aviation systems, medical instruments, and other products for the commercial market (see below). In 2022, the company generated $5.5 billion in revenue, 90% of which derived from its "defense" sector.

Elbit became the largest weapons manufacturer in Israel in 2018, when it acquired Israeli state-owned Israeli Military Industries (now IMI Systems). Other notable Israeli subsidiaries include the following:

  • Cyberbit (formerly NICE Systems' Cyberbit and Intelligence Division): a provider of intelligence software for law enforcement and intelligence agencies
  • Elisra: a formerly state-owned manufacturer of electronic warfare systems
  • Soltam Systems: a manufacturer of advanced artillery weapons
  • Tadiran Communications: a developer of military communications systems

While the Israeli military is Elbit's largest client, the company is also a major contractor of the U.S. military and one of the top contractors of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Elbit Systems of America is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Its notable subsidiaries include the following companies:

  • Aydin Displays of Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
  • KMC Systems of Merrimack, New Hampshire
  • Night Vision of Roanoke, Virginia (formerly a subsidiary of Harris Corporation)
  • Real-Time Laboratories of Boca Raton, Florida
  • Sparton of De Leon Springs, Florida
  • The Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Additional manufacturing sites are located in:

  • Ladson, South Carolina
  • Reston, Virginia
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Talladega, Alabama

Outside of Israel and the U.S., Elbit operates in or sells its weapons to at least 51 countries, including Angola, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zambia. Specific information about Elbit's weapons used by countries with poor human rights records is detailed below.

War Crimes Against Palestinian Civilians

Elbit supplies the Israeli military with a wide variety of weapons, including missiles, bombs, drones, gun systems, and ammunition. Elbit technologies, including Torch-X command and control, electronic warfare (EW), display, and warning systems, are also integrated into the Israeli military's main fighter aircraft, battle tanks, and warships.

For years, these weapons have routinely been used against Palestinian civilians, resulting in numerous casualties as well as mass destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and water and electric systems. These attacks include war crimes that Israel has committed during several major military offensives against the Gaza Strip, which has been illegally blockaded since 2007:

  • 2022 ("Operation Breaking Dawn"): Within three days of this unprovoked offensive, Israel killed at least 33 Palestinians, including 17 civilians. Evidence of war crimes was recorded by Amnesty International.
  • 2021 ("Operation Guardian of the Walls"): During this assault, Israel killed at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children and 41 women. At least half of the fatalities were civilians, and more than 2,200 additional Palestinians were injured. Evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity was published by Palestinian human rights organizations Al-Haz, Al-Mezan, and the Palestinian Center of Human Rights; Amnesty International; and Human Rights Watch.
  • 2014 ("Operation Protective Edge"): During this 50-day assault, Israel killed at least 2,131 Palestinians, at least 1,473 of whom were civilians, including 501 children and 257 women. At least 11,100 Palestinians were wounded, including 3,374 children. Evidence of war crimes was published by Palestinian human rights organizations Al-Haq and Al-Mezan; Israeli organization B'Tselem; Amnesty International; and Human Rights Watch.
  • 2008–2009 ("Operation Cast Lead"): During this 22-day assault, Israel killed at least 1,385 Palestinians—including at least 308 children—and wounded at least 5,000 more. The majority of casualties were civilians. Evidence of war crimes was published by the U.N.'s Fact-Finding Mission, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

Bombs, Missiles, and Munitions

The Israeli military uses Elbit MPR 500, 1000, and 2000 bombs, touted for their "high kill" capabilities, in its attacks on Gaza. These bombs are often equipped with Elbit-manufactured Guided Mortar Munitions (GMMs) and Laser- and GPS-Guided Mortar Kits (LG2MKs). Developed by IMI Systems, these guided munitions convert general-purpose bombs into "pinpoint accuracy weapons." Despite their increased precision, these "smart" bombs have been implicated in the killings of numerous Palestinian civilians, prompting human rights organizations to conclude that they have been used to deliberately target individuals.

MPR 500 bombs were reportedly used for the first time during Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza. According to findings published by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015, the Israeli military likely used an MPR 500 bomb—equipped with a Boeing-manufactured Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) kit—to strike a family home in Khan Younis, Gaza, killing nine people, six of whom were children. In the wake of Israel's 2014 attack, IMI Systems developed the larger MPR 1000 and 2000 bombs using the same technology.

Killer and Surveillance Drones

Elbit supplies unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the Israeli military, including both armed and unarmed Hermes 450 and 900 drones; Skylark intelligence-gathering drones; and accompanying ground control systems, support equipment, and data platforms. These drones have been used extensively for attack and surveillance purposes, particularly in Gaza and along the Gaza–Israel border.

Elbit's Hermes 450 drone, developed in 1998, has become the "primary platform" of the Israeli military in its "counter-terror operations," according to Elbit. During its three-day assault on Gaza in August 2022, the Israeli military deployed Hermes 450 drones equipped with missiles to strike "[d]ozens of targets." In 2014, Hermes 450 drones were used in two separate strikes that killed four Palestinian children as they played on a beach in Gaza City. Three of the children, killed in the second strike, were attempting to escape at the time. These attacks were subsequently labeled "war crimes and crimes against humanity." The Israeli military also used Hermes 450 drones during its 2006 bombardments of Lebanon, which killed 1,183 people, around one-third of whom were children.

Elbit's flagship drone, the Hermes 900, was first operationalized in the final days of Israel's 2014 assault on Gaza. An "improved" version of the Hermes 450, the Hermes 900—used for both attack and surveillance purposes—has taken part in all of Israel's major assaults on Gaza since 2014. For example, the Israeli military deployed Hermes 900 drones equipped with Spike MR guided missiles during its 11-day attack on Gaza in 2021, which killed 248 people and injured an additional 1,900.

Deployed during "almost every major mission" carried out by the Israeli military, Elbit's Skylark tactical drones—operational since 2008—are used alongside Hermes 450 and 900 drones to surveil Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli military used the Skylark extensively during its 2014 assault, during which hundreds of West Bank Palestinians were arbitrarily arrested. Posing further dangers, these drones routinely crash, as reported, for example, in January 2023 and July 2019.

Elbit continues to develop new drones for the specific needs of the Israeli military, raising concerns that these weapons will also be used against Palestinian civilians. In 2022, for instance, the company unveiled its new autonomous LANIUS Legion-X drone, a small, lightweight, drone-based loitering munition designed to carry lethal weapons and "operate in tight urban environments." Referred to as a "micro-suicide" and "assassin" drone, the LANIUS Legion-X combines surveillance and attack capabilities. The weapon is expected to add "a new dimension of terror for the [Palestinian] civilian population."

Fighter Jets and Attack Helicopters

Elbit produces integral components and weapon systems for the Israeli military's main fighter aircraft, including Lockheed Martin F-16 and F-35 fighter jets, Boeing F-15 fighter jets and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters. These aircraft have been used extensively in Israel's attacks on Gaza, the occupied West Bank, and Lebanon.

All Israeli Air Force F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin—as well as many other fighter jets and helicopters used by the Israeli military—are equipped with Elbit avionics, including mission computers, display systems, and storage management systems. Many of these systems were developed specifically for the needs of the Israeli military. For example, following an Israeli Air Force helicopter crash in 2010, Elbit developed a new night vision–equipped head-up display (HUD) system, which projects real-time aviation data onto a fighter pilot's field of vision. The company's head-up display systems were originally developed for and first used by the Israeli Air Force in the 1990s.

Elbit-equipped F-16s—Israel's "most important fighter jet"—AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and other fighter aircraft have been used by the Israeli military in all of its major assaults on Gaza. For example, during Israel's 2021 assault on Gaza, F-16s—described as the "mainstay of the bombardment"—were documented bombing Gaza City's Rimal neighborhood as well as residential buildings and the offices of news organizations, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press. During Israel's 2008–2009 assault on Gaza, the military used Elbit-outfitted F-16s to target civilians, civilian homes, and refugee camps. These attacks killed numerous Palestinians, including 22 members of a single family, 12 of whom were children under the age of 10.

In addition, Elbit provides the Israeli Air Force with flight training systems and "mission training centers." Since 2002, Elbit has procured, operated, and maintained a fleet of Israeli Air Force training aircraft. In 2023, the company was awarded a $180 million contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to provide, operate, and maintain a new training center—equipped with simulators that "enable simulation of both current and future battleground environments"—for the Israeli Air Force's fleet of F-16 fighter jets. When announcing the new training facility, Elbit expressed appreciation for the "strong partnership [with] and the confidence" of the Israeli military and Ministry of Defense.

Tanks and Ground Vehicles

Elbit weapons and technologies are integrated into the Israeli military's main battle tanks, armored fighting and tactical vehicles, and personnel carriers. These ground vehicles have played an integral role in Israel's assaults on Gaza and in maintaining the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Since the early 2000s, Elbit has developed and manufactured weapons and technologies for Merkava tanks, a series of main battle tanks used by the Israeli military. The company manufactures, for example, 120mm ammunition for the Merkava 3 and 4 tanks. In its marketing materials, Elbit states that its 120mm ammunition is "highly lethal" and that it renders the Merkava especially suitable for "urban warfare."

The Israeli military routinely uses "super-armored" Merkava tanks to carry out attacks on Gaza and to patrol the Gaza–Israel border. In 2020, for example, the Israeli military used a Merkava tank to open fire on the Gaza–Israel border in an unauthorized attack. In 2018, the Israeli military used Merkava tanks to fire at Palestinian protestors during Great March of Return demonstrations. Merkava tanks also played a critical role in Israel's 2012 and 2014 assaults on Gaza. On other occasions, the Israeli military has used Merkava tanks to accompany armored bulldozers in razing agricultural land and demolishing homes in Gaza.

Elbit also supplies the Israeli military with battle tank–related training. In 2023, for example, Elbit was awarded a $107 million contract to provide, operate, and maintain a new Main Battle Tank (MBT) simulation and training center for the Israeli military's Armored Corps.

Naval Weapons

Elbit-manufactured electronic warfare technologies are integrated into all of the Israeli Navy's surface vessels. The company also provides weapons and technologies to the Israeli Navy's fleet of missile ships and patrol boats. For example, Elbit supplies the Israeli Navy with electronic warfare systems for its Sa'ar 6-class corvettes—heavily armed missile ships that are outfitted with more than 20 sensors and weapons. Additionally, the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 4.5- and 5-class missile ships are outfitted with Elbit rocket launchers and other Elbit-made weapon systems.

Elbit-equipped Israeli warships and patrol boats play a critical role in maintaining Israel's illegal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Gazan fishermen, who are restricted by Israel to severely limited fishing areas, have reported being fired at by the Israeli Navy on an almost-daily basis. A Sa'ar warship was also used by the Israeli Navy during its 2010 assault on the Mavi Marmara or Free Gaza Flotilla, an unarmed Turkish aid ship that was used in an attempt to deliver supplies to Gaza. In what the International Criminal Court labeled war crimes, Israeli commandos raided the ship and killed nine activists.

Forced Displacement of Palestinians

Elbit's acquisition of Israeli state-owned IMI Systems has contributed to the forced displacement of thousands of Palestinian Bedouins. In 2020, the company signed a contract with Israeli engineering company Baran Group to plan and manage the relocation of IMI's Ramat Hasharon plant, according to Who Profits. Expected to be finalized in 2024, the relocation is part of the Israeli government's larger plan to establish a military training area and weapons testing facility in the region. The establishment of this military industrial zone is expected to forcibly displace 36,000 Palestinian Bedouins; lead to the demolition of over 2,000 buildings, including 1,200 Bedouin homes; and expose Bedouin communities in the region to serious health risks.

Separation Wall and Border Monitoring and Surveillance in Palestine/Israel

Elbit has been the primary provider of electronic detection systems and related surveillance technologies for Israel's "smart walls." The company has also provided technology for military checkpoints and has supplied the Israeli military with armored ground vehicles used to surveil Israel's borders.

Elbit has been deeply involved in maintaining Israel's border surveillance industry since 2002, when Israel began building its illegal separation wall in the occupied West Bank. That year, Elbit subsidiary Ortek was awarded a $5 million contract to build a "smart" electronic barrier around part of Jerusalem, thereby cutting off Jerusalem's Palestinian residents from the occupied West Bank. In 2006, Ortek was awarded an additional $17 million to deploy a "smart" electronic deterrence system—consisting of an electronic fence, communications systems, and computerized command and control posts—along segments of the separation wall.

Elbit was the main contractor for providing "smart" sensors for Israel's wall around the Gaza Strip. In 2021, Israel completed an underground "smart wall," comprised of hundreds of surveillance cameras, radars, and motion detection sensors, around Gaza. Led by Elbit and several subcontractors, this "smart tech" militarization project began in 2017 as part of Israel's bid to prevent underground activity along the Gaza–Israel border. In addition to these high-tech components, the wall also consists of 20-foot-tall aboveground concrete barriers and reinforced concrete slabs that reach 130 feet below ground.

Elbit also develops autonomous ground vehicles for the Israeli military; these vehicles are used to surveil Israel's border walls. In 2016, Elbit developed the Border Protector Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), a Ford F-350 pickup truck equipped with autonomous driving technology and surveillance cameras, for the Israeli military. That year, Israel deployed the vehicles along the Gaza–Israel border, thus becoming the "first country to deploy autonomous vehicles in a border area." These vehicles replaced the Israeli military's previous border patrol vehicles, the Guardium UGV. Co-developed by Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries, Guardium vehicles have been used by the Israeli military to surveil the Gaza–Israel border "around the clock."

More recently, in 2022, Elbit unveiled its new Medium Robotic Combat Vehicle (M-RCV), an unmanned robotic vehicle equipped with a "robust and lethal platform," including a gun turret, anti-tank missile launching capabilities, and a built-in system for receiving and transporting military surveillance drones. It is expected that, like the Israeli military's other UGVs, these weaponized ground vehicles will be deployed along Israel's borders.

Border Monitoring and Surveillance in the US and Abroad

Elbit has provided its surveillance technologies—"field-proven" on Palestinians and installed along Israel's border walls—to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since 2006. The company provides U.S. immigration authorities with fixed and mobile/relocatable surveillance systems, ground sensors, drones, Border Patrol command and control platforms, and other technologies. Elbit has become one of 14 "giants in the [U.S.] border security business" in its bid to "build a 'layer' of electronic surveillance equipment across the entire perimeter of the U.S.," expanding "not only to the northern border [the U.S.–Canadian border], but to the ports and harbors across the country."

In 2006, Elbit acted as a Boeing subcontractor on CBP's Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) project, which attempted to create a "virtual wall" along the entire U.S.–Mexico border. As part of the project, Elbit provided Integrated Fixed Towers (IFTs) for deployment along stretches of the border in Arizona. IFTs are 160-foot surveillance towers outfitted with high-definition cameras, sensors, and advanced radars capable of detecting individuals and vehicles up to 7.5 miles away. Providing "constant 24/7 surveillance" along portions of the border, these surveillance towers send real-time data to Border Patrol agents at an Elbit-powered Torch command and control station.

In 2011, after spending nearly $1 billion and deploying SBInet systems along 53 miles of the U.S.–Mexico border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) canceled the project, citing concerns about performance, cost, and scheduling delays.

Despite the cancellation, DHS decided to keep and expand Elbit's technologies on the border, and awarded the company a $145 million contract to continue deploying IFTs along the U.S.–Mexico border in Arizona. CBP expanded the program in 2019 when it awarded Elbit another $26 million contract to install additional IFTs in Arizona. As of 2022, 55 Elbit-made IFTs are deployed along the U.S.–Mexico border, exclusively in Arizona.

The later additional towers were erected on the Tohono O'odham reservation, whose territory covers 62 miles of the U.S.–Mexico border. The reservation's tribal council initially supported the surveillance project, partially in an attempt to dissuade the government from building additional physical border wall segments across their lands, as reported by the Intercept. In 2017, however, a governing council passed a resolution against the Elbit-made towers, citing residents' opposition to being placed under constant surveillance and their desire to protect ceremonial lands, burial sites, and harvesting grounds.

In 2022, CBP and U.S. Border Patrol began planning an expansion of surveillance towers along the U.S.–Mexico border, as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The project—referred to as the Integrated Surveillance Tower (IST) or Consolidated Tower and Surveillance Equipment (CTSE) program—intends to create a unified system that includes both Elbit's IFTs and the smaller mobile Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSSs), made by General Dynamics. Between 2023 and 2033, CBP plans to deploy 307 new surveillance towers along the U.S.–Mexico border in Texas and California, and an additional 29 towers in Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington. It is not clear how many of these new towers will be Elbit's IFTs and how many will be General Dynamics' RVSSs.

Elbit's drones have also been used by border patrol agencies in the U.S. and abroad. In 2004, CBP used Elbit's Hermes 450 drone to test the feasibility of drone use along the U.S.–Mexico border in Arizona. Under a lease contract, Elbit provided CBP with UAVs, ground control stations, operational crews, and support personnel. The agency reportedly tested the Hermes 450 drone for 700 hours and used it to help carry out arrests of 965 immigrants. CBP's current drone fleet, however, is provided by General Atomics and is not based on Elbit's drones.

More recently, in 2019, Elbit began operating a maritime drone patrol service under a contract between the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and Portuguese engineering company CEiiA. Elbit's Hermes 900 drones patrol the Mediterranean Sea as part of the European Union's bid to enhance "border control and surveillance" and "seal off access to migrants from North Africa."

Banned/Controversial Weapons Production

Elbit manufactures several weapons that are largely banned—or considered particularly "controversial"—under the laws of war. These weapons include cluster munitions, weaponized white phosphorus, and flechette projectiles.

Elbit subsidiary IMI Systems has a documented history of producing cluster munitions. The use of these weapons is prohibited under a 2008 international treaty signed by 111 countries for two main reasons, according to Human Rights Watch. First, cluster munitions contain bomblets or submunitions that spread indiscriminately "over a wide area, which can be devastating for civilians." Second, cluster munitions often fail to explode on initial impact, leaving behind unexploded components that, "like landmines, can kill and maim for years to come." Notably, Israel and the U.S. are not signatories to the treaty.

While Elbit declared that it would stop its production of cluster munitions and has denied producing them since 2018, several major financial institutions divested from the company as recently as 2022 due to its production or marketing of these weapons. In 2022, Australia's sovereign wealth fund banned investment in Elbit over its production of cluster munitions. In 2021, Norway's largest pension fund company, KLP, excluded Elbit from its portfolio after concluding that "[i]t is clear that the company produces cluster munitions." In 2019, HSBC divested from the company, citing its "long-standing defense policy whereby [it does] not invest in companies linked to the production or marketing of cluster munitions."

In 2006, the Israeli military carried out "indiscriminate and disproportionate cluster munition attacks on Lebanon," in violation of international human rights law. According to Human Rights Watch, Israel illegally fired as many as 4.6 million submunitions across southern Lebanon, resulting in mass-scale destruction of towns and villages, and "leaving bomblets that have killed and maimed almost 200 people since the war ended." Despite cluster munitions being implicated in war crimes, Israel later purchased Elbit-made artillery cannons capable of firing cluster bombs in 2017. The Israeli government purchased these weapons from Elbit rather than its previous supplier, German weapons manufacturer KMW, over concerns that Germany would prohibit the Israeli military from using them to fire cluster munitions.

Elbit previously manufactured white phosphorus munitions until at least 2012, when it stopped reporting on them in its financial statements. White phosphorus munitions are incendiary weapons that produce heat and fire through a chemical reaction; when they come into contact with the skin, they can cause "excruciating burns, sometimes to the bone" and "respiratory damage, infection, shock, and organ failure," according to Human Rights Watch. The use of white phosphorus munitions has been highlighted as being particularly controversial due to the weapons' "'indiscriminate and uncontrollable' harm to civilians."

The Israeli military used white phosphorus munitions in its attacks on Gaza in 2008–2009. During this attack, the Israeli military used 155mm artillery to indiscriminately and repeatedly fire white phosphorus munitions into densely populated urban areas, in what Human Rights Watch labeled war crimes. For example, the military carried out a white phosphorus attack on a U.N. school in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, killing two children and injuring several others. Other attacks killed at least 10 more civilians; injured dozens more; and damaged civilian infrastructure, including markets, humanitarian aid centers, schools, and hospitals.

Products for the Civilian Market

Over the years, Elbit has applied its military expertise to developing and manufacturing products for the civilian market. In 2023, the company announced plans to adapt its drones for civilian applications. For example, it converted its Hermes 900 drone to be used by "governments, as well as international and commercial organizations" for "security and environmental protection" purposes. Similarly, Elbit's Hermes 450 drone has been used for precision agriculture in, for example, North Dakota, where it monitored and collected data from large crop fields.

In 2017, Elbit subsidiary Everysight launched a line of smartglasses called Raptor AR. Modeled after Elbit's military head-up display systems, the augmented reality glasses are marketed primarily to cyclists and triathletes. According to Everysight, the glasses "bring the fighter jet pilot AR experience to regular consumers." Three years before, Elbit unveiled the Skylens, a wearable head-up display designed for commercial pilots. Like the Raptor AR smartglasses, the Skylens was modeled after head-up display systems used by the Israeli military.

Elbit is also active in the commercial automotive industry. In 2016, the company established a subsidiary to develop electric batteries for civilian transportation applications. Previously, Elbit developed fast-charging electric batteries for the Israeli military. The company entered the automotive industry in 2011 with the establishment of subsidiary BrightWay Vision, which applied Elbit's military night vision and laser technologies to the development of BrightEye, a safety "sensing and laser illumination technolog[y]...used to generate a clear long-range image of the road ahead at night and in low visibility conditions."

Other Elbit subsidiaries develop commercial aviation systems; systems for monitoring commercial pipelines; cybersecurity training and simulation products for students and professionals; and diagnostic instruments for the life sciences and medical industries.

Use of Elbit Technologies Globally

As documented by the Database of Israeli Military and Security Export (DIMSE), Elbit weapons and technologies have been used by military and police authorities in countries that routinely commit human rights abuses:

  • Azerbaijan: Azerbaijani military forces have used Elbit Hermes 450 and 900 drones and SkyStriker "suicide" drones. As documented by Amnesty International, the Azerbaijani military has carried out extrajudicial killings, torture, and other war crimes against civilians throughout its ongoing dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Brazil: The Brazilian Air Force used an Elbit Hermes 900 drone along with a fleet of Hermes 450 drones to surveil crowds and protestors at the 2014 World Cup. Brazil's purchase of these drones was reportedly "given fresh impetus" following mass protests that coincided with the 2013 Confederations Cup. Activists have accused the company of exporting "tactics used on the Gaza Strip" to Brazil.
  • Chile: Chile's military has used Elbit Hermes 900 drones to surveil the country's indigenous Mapuche population. As documented by Amnesty International, Chilean authorities have used anti-terrorism laws to routinely surveil and criminalize the Mapuche people.
  • Ethiopia: Surveillance software sold by Elbit subsidiary and cybersecurity firm Cyberbit has reportedly been used by the Ethiopian government to spy on political dissidents, journalists, and activists linked to Oromiya, the largest region of Ethiopia and the "subject of a crackdown by the national government" since 2015. In response to a letter sent by Human Rights Watch inquiring into the use of Cyberbit technologies in Ethiopia, Elbit stated that it bears no responsibility for how its products are used.
  • Honduras: The Honduran Army purchased Elbit Skylark drones in 2018. Only a few months prior, Honduran security forces killed 22 people during protests over the country's disputed presidential election.
  • India: Elbit brags on its website that it is a "trusted partner" of the Indian Ministry of Defence and the Indian Armed Forces, and the company markets its products at AeroIndia, India's largest aerospace and defense exhibition. The Indian government has violently cracked down on religious minorities, particularly Muslims.
  • Myanmar: The Myanmar Navy has used patrol boats outfitted with Elbit-made remote weapon systems. Despite claiming that is "had no dealings with Myanmar since 2015 or 2016," Elbit reportedly sold parts to a Myanmar-based company that conducted repair work on Elbit drones in 2019 and 2020. The company's surveillance drones have been implicated in Myanmar's criminalization and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.
  • The Philippines: The Philippine Army uses armored combat support vehicles and munitions manufactured by Elbit and procured through foreign military sales from Israel. Between 2016 and 2022, former President Rodrigo Duterte carried out a violent "war on drugs" that led to the killings of over 12,000 civilians, 2,555 of which have been attributed to the Philippine National Police.
  • United Arab Emirates: Elbit boasts on its website of its close relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces. Following the establishment of UAE-based subsidiary Elbit Systems Emirates in 2021, Elbit was awarded a $53 million contract to supply electronic warfare and other military systems to the UAE Air Force. As of 2023, the UAE continues to commit "frequent and serious violations of international law in Yemen," as documented by Amnesty International.

Elbit Hermes 450 drones were also used extensively by the British military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Political Influence

As of 2022, at least seven Elbit executive hold close ties to the Israeli military, having served, for example, in Israel's Air Force, Armored Corps, Intelligence Corps, Ministry of Defense, and Navy.

Many Elbit Systems of America executives hold similarly close ties to the U.S. military, either as active board members of defense and aerospace industry organizations that work closely with the Department of Defense; as pervious U.S. Air Force, Army, or Navy officers; or as former Pentagon policy officers or U.S. government military assistants. In 2016, former Vice President for Government Relations at Elbit Systems of America, Thomas Carter, joined former President Donald Trump's transition team as a member of the Department of Defense's "landing team."

Between 2004 and April 2023, Elbit and its subsidiaries spent just over $7 million on lobbying issues related to Department of Defense funding with respect to the company's products; appropriations for F-35, F-15EX, helmets, and avionics; border wall systems, integrated fixed towers, and the implementation and funding of border security solutions; foreign military financing and sales; and Army research, design, testing, and evaluation.

Economic Activism Highlights
  • In March 2022, Australia's soveriegn wealth fund, the $200 billion Future Fund, announced that it would ban investment in Elbit over the company's alleged production of cluster munitions, bombs that contain smaller bomblets that scatter as they drop from the air. Under an international convention, cluster munitions are banned by 110 states, including Australia, because they kill and maim civilians and, like landmines, can remain a deadly hazard years after a conflict is over. The weapons have reportedly been "field tested" by the Israeli military on Palestinians in the occupied territories "before being exported for repression across the world."
  • In Feburary 2021, East Sussex Pension Fund divested funds from Elbit systems.
  • In September 2020, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's student government passed a resolution divesting from companies partaking in human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including Elbit Systems Ltd. This resolution was first brought to the student government in February. The student senate resolution, originally titled “Violations of Human Rights in University Investments”, passed with a large margin on February 13, but was vetoed a few days later by the Student Government President after backlash from “pro-Israel” groups.
  • On December 31, 2018, AXA IM, a subsidiary of the French multinational insurance company AXA, announced that it withdrew all of its investments in Elbit Systems due to the company's production and commercialization of cluster bombs. However, AXA is still invested in Elbit Systems indirectly.
  • On March 3, 2019, the Swarthmore Student Government Organization passed a resolution calling on "Swarthmore College and its Board of Managers to implement a screen on investments in companies involved in repeated, well-documented, and severe violations of international human rights law in Israel / Palestine, including: Elbit Systems Ltd..." 
  • On December 27, 2018, HSBC, the largest bank in Europe and 7th largest in the world, declared it had sold all its holdings in Elbit Systems in response to a campaign by War on Want and the UK Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. The bank later clarified that its decision was prompted by Elbit's acquisition of IMI Systems and was based on the bank's existing policy not to invest in cluster bomb manufacturers. In response, Elbit declared that it will stop manufacturing cluster munitions and that, moving forward, all of the company’s activities relating to munitions “will be conducted in accordance with applicable international conventions or U.S. law.”
  • On May 23, 2018, the student senate at the University of Oregon passed a resolution to divest from companies including the Strauss Group, the Osem Group, Hewlett-Packard Company, Ahava, General Electric, Eden Springs, Motorola, G4S, Elbit Systems. The resolution also prohibited the purchase of products from Sabra, Tribe, SodaStream, and the companies listed above. 
  • On April 18, 2018, Barnard College Student Government Association passed a referendum calling for the university to divest from eight companies profiting from Israel's occupation of Palestine. The companies listed include Hyundai, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Elbit Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Bank Hapoalim.
  • On June 12, 2017, Swedish Bank SEB added Elbit Systems in its no-buy-list. The bank declared that it is removing from all its funds forty companies "that violate international standards for the environment, corruption, human rights and labor law." The bank had previously stopped investing in companies involved in nuclear programs and in coal production.
  • On April 9, 2017, Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate passed a resolution urging the university to divest from "corporations that profit off the occupation of Palestine and the continued spread of settlements declared illegal under international law," including Elbit Systems.
  • On April 12, 2016, the College Council of the University of Chicago passed a resolution to Divest University funds from apartheid, urging the university “ to withdraw, within the bounds of their fiduciary duty, investments in securities, endowments, mutual funds, and other monetary instruments with holdings in companies profiting from human rights abuses and violations of international law in Palestine, including, Elbit Systems.
  • On March 6, 2016, the Vassar Student Association voted to support the international BDS movement and to divest from companies profiting from Israeli human rights abuses, including Elbit Systems.
  • In November 2015, the University of California Santa Cruz student government reinstated a divestment resolution against Elbit that had originally passed in 2014 but was suspended pending an appeals process. The resolution calls on the university to drop its investments in any company that "profits from the Israeli occupation of Palestine." 
  • Northwestern University students voted to divest from Elbit in February 2015, citing its involvement in border militarization.
  • The Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sol revoked a contract with Elbit to develop a major aerospace center in December 2014, stating that the decision was a "logical consequence" of "the demands of the social movements and important voices that need to be heard."
  • Danish pension fund PKA Ltd. divested from Elbit Systems in 2014 over its “involvement in the construction and maintenance of the [Separation] Wall.”
  • UC Santa Cruz's student government passed a resolution in 2014 stating that Elbit is “involved in the construction of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank [and] Elbit's Hermes 450 and 900 [drones], equipped with two Spike MR missiles, were used to conduct attacks in Gaza that resulted in civilian casualties.”
  • The Wesleyan University student senate voted in 2014 to divest its student endowment from Elbit, stating it is “complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine.”
  • In 2014, the University of New Mexico’s Graduate and Professional Student Association voted to divest from Elbit, citing its “surveillance systems for the Separation Wall which runs through occupied Palestinian land.”
  • Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution against Elbit, which stated Elbit “play active roles in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli Government.” 
  • In 2013, the Luxembourg national pension fund excluded Elbit from its list of investments because it “provid[es] security systems for illegal separation barrier on occupied territories (State of Palestine).”
  • The Oberlin College student senate voted to divest from Elbit in May 2013, due to “injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian people by Israel.” 
  • Dutch pension fund PFZW excluded Elbit in 2012, citing its role in providing surveillance systems for Israel’s wall in the West Bank, which is deemed illegal under international law.
  • As of 2012, Swedish AP pension funds 1-4 had excluded Elbit due to its support of the Separation Wall and settlements, which are “contrary to international public law.”
  • The Danish pension fund PKA Ltd., one of the largest funds administering workers’ pension funds in Denmark, divested from Elbit in 2010, citing ICJ decision that the wall "violates Palestinian human rights.”
  • Danske Bank excluded Elbit in 2010 because of its “[involvement] in construction activities in conflict with international humanitarian law.”
  • In 2010, Sweden’s largest asset manager Folksam confirmed that it did not have holdings in Elbit because of its “strict policy regarding activity on occupied land.” 
  • The Norwegian government pension fund excluded Elbit in 2009, citing “the company’s integral involvement in Israel’s construction of a separation barrier on occupied territory.”
  • Sweden’s AP 7 pension fund blacklisted Elbit in 2009.
Unless specified otherwise, the information in this page is valid as of
31 May 2023