One of the world's largest weapons companies. It manufactures engines for multiple weapon systems that are routinely used in war crimes against Palestinian civilians and infrastructure for a power plant in the occupied Syrian Golan.
General Electric Company (GE), headquartered in Boston, designs, manufactures, and sells jet engines, integrated engine components, and electric power and mechanical aircraft systems for military fighter jets, bombers, tankers, helicopters, and surveillance aircraft. As of 2022, it is one of the world's largest military contractors, with $74.1 billion in annual revenue.
General Electric engines, electric power and mechanical systems, and components are integrated into the Israeli military's fighter jets, attack helicopters, and surveillance aircraft. These systems, in addition to related support services, are often gifted to Israel through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Financing program.
For years, weapons comprised of these components have repeatedly 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 an 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-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights; Amnesty International; and Human Rights Watch. The International Criminal Court announced that it will examine these cases.
- 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.
- 2012 ("Operation Pillar of Defense"): Israel killed 174 Palestinians, 101 of whom were civilians, including 33 children and 13 women. Evidence of Israeli war crimes was published by the UN, 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 UN's Fact-Finding Mission, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.
GE's F110-GE-129 engines are integrated into Boeing's F-15 and Lockheed Martin's F-16 fighter jets, which are routinely used by the Israeli Air Force in its frequent attacks on Gaza. For example, the F-16 was the "mainstay" of Israel's 2021 attacks on Gaza and was 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 the 2008–2009 assault, Israeli F-16s targeted civilians, civilian homes, and refugee camps, resulting in numerous deaths, including 22 members of a single family, 12 of whom were children under the age of 10.
The company's T700-GE-701C engines are similarly integrated into Boeing's Apache combat helicopters and Lockheed Martin's Black Hawk combat helicopters. During its 2014 attack on Gaza, Israel used its Apache helicopters to target civilians and civilian infrastructure, killing at least 51 people, including 24 children, and injuring at least 66 others, including 36 children, in incidents that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights identified as "a direct attack against civilian objects or civilians, a war crime under international criminal law." In 2006, during the Lebanon War, Israeli Apache helicopters killed at least 30 civilians and wounded nine more in incidents that Human Rights Watch deemed "indiscriminate targeting by Israeli forces" and potential war crimes.
In addition, GE's LM2500 gas turbine is part of the propulsion system of Israel's Sa'ar 5 warship, which the Israeli Navy uses to enforce the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel limits Gazan fishermen to an area no wider than three to six miles off the coast, severely limiting their access to fishing. Even within the three- and six-mile boundaries, Gazan fishermen are attacked by the Israeli Navy. A Sa'ar ship also participated in the killings of 10 humanitarian activists aboard the Gaza Freedom flotilla. In November 2017, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court reaffirmed that "there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed" during the attack on the flotilla. The Israeli Navy also used Sa'ar ships to enforce a naval blockade on Lebanon during the 2006 Lebanon War.
GE supplied Israeli with T-700-GE-401C engines for eight SH-60F Seahawk helicopters and with CH-53D/E engines for 18 CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters in 2016 and 2021, respectively. Both helicopters are manufactured by Lockheed Martin and were provided to Israel as part of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.
GE is also involved in the exploitation of natural resources from occupied Syrian lands. The company has provided wind turbines for a wind farm located in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The project, called Emek Habacha, became operational in 2022 and is operated by Israeli company Enlight Renewable Energy. GE manufactured 30 wind turbines for the project, delivered and installed them, and is responsible for their operation and ongoing maintenance, according to Who Profits. This wind farm operates under the jurisdiction of the Golan Regional Council, which serves illegal Israeli settlements in the region. Illegal settlements near the project have the option of joining as minority stakeholders, according to Who Profits.
In February 2021, the University of California Irvine student government passed a resolution calling on the University of California to divest from companies complicit in Israeli apartheid. The companies named on the resolution included Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Caterpillar, Ford, Hyundai, Cemex, Raytheon, 3M, Northrop Grumman, Perrigo Company, Atlas Copco, and Blackrock..
- 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 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, General Electric."
- 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 General Electric.
- In November 2015, the University of California Santa Cruz student government reinstated a divestment resolution against GE 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."
- Students at UC Los Angeles passed a resolution to divest from General Electric in November 2014, stating General Electric “provide[s] weapons used in attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
- UC Riverside’s student council in 2014 passed a resolution to divest from GE, stating it “manufactures and supplies engines for A64 Apache Helicopters, systematically used in attacks on Palestinian civilians which constitutes severe human rights violations and war crimes.”
- Students at UC Santa Cruz in 2014 voted to divest, stating that GE “produces the T700GE701 engines of A64 Apache helicopters that are sold to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) which are systematically used in attacks on Palestinian civilians.”
- Students at Loyola University in Chicago passed a 2014 divestment resolution that stated GE “manufactures engines used for the same helicopters that violate human rights violations by attacking Palestinian civilians.”
- The University of Michigan Dearborn student senate voted in 2014 to create an advisory committee to examine GE’s “explicit involve[ment] in the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine and human rights violations that have been committed by the Israeli army.”
- A victorious UC San Diego resolution in 2013 stated that General Electric “supplies the T700/CT7 engine propulsion system for the Apache AH-64 Helicopter Fleets which...have been used in attacks on the Palestinian population.”
- In November of 2012, the Associated Students at UC Irvine voted unanimously to divest from GE, stating that the company “manufactures and supplies engines for A64 Apache Helicopters used by the Israeli military in attacks on Palestinian civilians.”
- The University of Michigan Dearborn student government's divestment resolution passed in 2010, calling GE a “corporation that sell[s] weapons, goods, and services to Israel [and] in turn uses the weapons, goods, and services inhumanely.”
- Students at Cardiff University in Wales, in 2009, citing General Electric’s “supplying [of] military equipment to Israel,” participated in a three-day sit-in until university officials confirmed they had sold the school’s shares in GE.
- In 2009, the Board of Trustees at Hampshire College, following a two-year student-led campaign, approved divestment from GE due to “human rights concerns in occupied Palestine.”
- In 2005 and 2006, the University of Michigan at Dearborn passed resolutions urging divestment from GE, citing the company’s “support and benefit from the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation.”