Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 5, 2016

New Report: Israeli Arms Dealer Profits from Migrant Misery on Tohono O'odham Nation

Arms Dealers profit from the wars they fuel and then again with border surveillance and migrant misery

Israeli arms dealer Elbit, protested in UK and around the world, is now targeting
Tohono O'odham burial grounds with Israeli/US spy towers. Elbit is responsible
for Apartheid security and drones in Palestine.

This inhumane 'cage' was used for migrant detention in 2007 on the Tohono O'odham Nation, where temperatures can exceed 115 degrees. An Indigenous delegation, including Mohawks, were shocked by the cage in use by the Tohono O'odham Nation and US Border Patrol. Lenny Foster, Navajo, said, "It is no more than a dog cage." Photo Ofelia Rivas, O'odham.

By Brenda Norrell

Censored News copyright

A new report exposes the arms dealers profiting from migrant misery and border surveillance, including the Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems which is now targeting the Tohono O’odham Nation with Israeli/US spy towers.

On the western Tohono O’odham Nation, Gu-Vo District has said, ‘No!’ to the integrated fixed towers. "These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said O’odham’s Gu-Vo District.

Israel’s Elbit Systems, awarded the US border contract by Homeland Security, is exposed in a new report “Border Wars: The Arms Dealers Profiting from Europe’s Refugee Tragedy.”

Arms dealers and border surveillance profiteers are exposed as benefiting from the wars that they fuel, and the migrant misery they create, states the report released jointly by the European Stop Wapenhandel and Transnational Institute on Monday.

The new report states:

Most perverse of all, it shows that some of the beneficiaries of border security contracts are some of the biggest arms sellers to the Middle-East and North-African region, fuelling the conflicts that are the cause of many of the refugees. In other words, the companies creating the crisis are then profiting from it.

While exposing the arms dealers in Europe profiteering from the refugee tragedy, the new report also exposes Elbit’s role in Palestine and on the Arizona border.

The new report states:

Israel's Elbit has already constructed
US/Israeli spy towers this year on the Arizona
border in the Nogales area. The Tohono
O'odham Nation is now targeted.
Major, and often controversial, deals in the border security field include the Finmecannica-deal with Libya, as well as the US Secure Borders Initiative. This initiative included a billion-dollar contract with Boeing, to build a border security network along the northern and southern borders of the United States. The project was plagued by severe (technological and legal) problems and was finally cancelled. It was partially replaced by a smaller project ($145 million), for which Israeli arms producer Elbit built a network of surveillance towers on the border between Mexico and Arizona. As in Europe, the militarisation of the US border with Mexico has been criticised by human rights organisations because of its negative impacts on refugees rights and the way it forces refugees to use more dangerous routes to avoid border enforcement.

The report also exposes how Elbit drones are used by Israel to attack Palestinians. This comes as Native Americans are speaking out in support of Palestinians and speaking out in opposition to Israel and Border Apartheid.

The report states:

In 2015, Switzerland ordered six UAVs from Elbit for surveillance missions by border guards, for approximately 230 million euros. The deal was criticised because the same model, the Hermes 900, is used by Israel for attacking Palestinians. Without naming specific countries, Elbit writes it also performs “programs relating to border security projects, coastal surveillance systems and integrated airport security systems for European and other governments.”

The new report also exposes another Israeli company responsible Gaza border wall surveillance It is Israeil’s BTec.

Israeli companies are the only non-European receivers of research funding (thanks to a 1996 agreement between Israel and the EU) and also have played a role in fortifying the borders of Bulgaria and Hungary, and promote their expertise based on the West Bank separation wall and the Gaza border with Egypt. Israeli firm BTec Electronic Security Systems, selected by Frontex to participate in its April 2014 workshop on ‘Border Surveillance Sensors and Platforms’, boasted in its application mail that its “technologies, solutions and products are installed on [the] Israeli-Palestinian border.”

The report states, "There is one group of interests that have only benefited from the refugee crisis, and in particular from the European Union's investment in 'securing' its borders.”

“They are the military and security companies that provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements."

Elbit Systems is currently targeting the most traditional O'odham communities.

The Gu-Vo District opposes this proposal. Gu-Vo is in the western most district of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The Gu-Vo District said in a statement, "The Gu-Vo District opposes these proposed tower sites to protect cultural sites on the holy mountain now called the Ajo Mountain Range. The mountain holds human remains of our people and also places of our cultural practices (medicine bundles) home and home of the ceremonial deer and bighorn sheep and mountain tortoises that are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"The United States government military forces, the border patrol, have not been forthcoming with impact information, such as health effects and have deliberately misinformed the people regarding the immediate environmental impacts such as the roads they will build on the mountain and installation of electrical power lines to the sites as well as that these proposed tower sites will have a 25-year or longer impact on the mountain, the animal and plant life and the O'odham lives."

"The Gu-Vo District communities landscape have already been greatly impacted by numerous unauthorized roads and destruction of our mountains and hills of great significance to the O'odham way of life. Our future generations will face more restriction to live on our original lands as our rights as original Indigenous peoples continue to deteriorate."

"These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said Gu-Vo District.


Copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News

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