Israel and Netherlands maintain close diplomatic, economic, and military relations. The Netherlands, being one of the largest trading partners for Israel, imported goods from Israel worth $2,2b in 2018. Israel exported a wide variety of arms to the Netherlands between 2000-2019, including drones, air-to-ground missiles, battle management systems and Reccelite systems. The two countries established close cooperation in the cyber security field as well, with around 25% of Netherlands’ investment in cyber security being invested in Israeli companies.
Israel – Netherlands Relations
Israel and the Netherlands have signed several bilateral conventions, such as cultural conventions, a social security agreement, a Double Taxation Convention, a memorandum on industrial research and development and a convention on joint agricultural research. Furthermore, Israel is represented by the Netherlands in the board of the International Monetary Fund.Relations between Israel and the Netherlands
Several bilateral visits of the highest political level have taken place in Israel and in the Netherlands: Dutch prime ministers and ministers have visited Israel; the queen paid an official visit to Israel in 1995, where she spoke in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament and the Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu visited the Netherlands twice as Prime minister. Many ministerial meetings have taken place between the two countries.
The Netherlands is one of the largest trading partners for Israel in the world. In the years 2006-2009 The Netherlands was the biggest trading partner for Israel in Europe and the third largest in the world. About eighty percent of Israeli exports are composed of chemicals, medicine, agricultural goods, machinery and electrical appliances. Israel has a trade surplus with the Netherlands; many of the Israeli products are exported to the Netherlands and then sold all over Europe. Many Israeli companies also have their European headquarters in the Netherlands.
Commerce between the two sides amounts to around $5 billion.Dutch-Israeli relations: a look ahead The Israeli Export trade to Netherlands stood on $2.2 Billion at 2018, Machinery, mechanic and electronic equipment and optic machinery being the main goods.Export Gov Israel : Country Snapshot – Netherlands
Israel and the Netherlands are holding close military relations. Israel exported a big variety of arms to the Netherlands between 2000-2019, including drones, air-to-ground missiles, battle management systems and Reccelite systems to the Dutch army.
In 2005 Israeli forces joined a three-week submarine exercise in Italy, together with the Dutch army and others.Israel Defense Forces: NATO-Israel Joint Military Training Dutch corps of the commando troops went to train in Israel in 2012 and 2014.Combat proven – Military reations between Israel and the Netherlands – english summary/
In 2014 the Dutch minister of defense Jeanine-Plasschaert visited Israel to discuss military cooperation with the Israeli counterpart.Government NL : Miniser visits Israel
Exchange of knowledge between Israel and the Netherlands taking place in different areas such as unmanned aerial vehicles, measures against improvised explosives and cyber-security.Government NL : Miniser visits Israel
The Dutch embassy in Israel operates a “Defense Team”, that is responsible for the development and deployment of activities aimed at bilateral military cooperation.Netherlands Defense Department in Israel
Cyber security is another field where Israel and the Netherlands have strong credentials, around 25% of the money invested in cyber security is invested in Israeli companies.Netherlands Investment in Israeli Cyber Security
Israel offers organizes leading conferences in the field such as CyberTech and CyberWeek. The Netherlands offers Israeli startups a unique testing environment for the application of new technologies as well as a gateway for Israeli scaleups to rest of the EU (European Union) and the global market.
The IDIC (Israeli Dutch Innovation Center) acts as a facilitator between Israel and Dutch technology companies, relevant government organizations and startups. Cybersecurity is one of its four areas of focus.CONNECTING INNOVATION WORLDWIDE ISRAELI-DUTCH INNOVATION CENTER Between 2015-2019 several interactions were organized by the IDIC to intensify cooperation in cybersecurity between both countries. Delegations of policy makers were organized, such as a formal Startup delegation in 2015 led by Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp that visited Israel to enhance bilateral cooperation in the gas and cyber sector. Also, R&D missions were operated by the IDIC such as the Bilateral Forum signed during the visit of Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in 2013.IDIC : “Startup Nation” missions
in 2017 Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that it is investing millions of dollars in the dutch company Inpedio BV, a provider of cyber security solutions to governments and enterprises.IAI Invests in two Cyber Companies in Holland and Hungary
Usage of Israeli Arms
- Aerostar UAV: Used by Dutch army in Uruzgan Province, AfghanistanDutch to Rent Israeli UAVs for Afghanistan
- Litening AT: Used by Dutch air force on F-16 Fighting Falcon aircrafts.
- Reccelite XR: Used by Dutch air force on F-16 Fighting Falcon aircrafts.
- Spike MR: 237 launchers and 1,974 missiles were assigned to Royal Netherlands Army, 60 launchers and 459 missiles were assigned to Royal Netherlands Marine-Corps. The first missiles were fired by the infantry regiment “Regiment van Heutsz” in 2004. The regiment was later stationed in Afghanistan between 2006-2010.
- Iron Fist: in use by Royal Netherlands Army on CV9035 armed vehicles.Royal Netherlands Army to procures IMI’s “Iron Fist”
Violations of Human Rights
The Netherlands forcibly returns asylum-seekers whose claims were rejected to Afghanistan, including families with children, in breach of the principle of non-refoulement (i.e., forced return to a country or territory where persecution is likely). In other cases, Venezuelans seeking protection were denied their rights and faced deportations without individual assessment of their protection needs and were held in detention centers in appalling conditions.Amnesty Human Rights Report : Netherlands
The Netherlands automatically places people suspected and convicted of terrorism-related charges in two special high-security detention units, without any prior individual assessment. Security measures routinely used in these units included frequent invasive body searches, prolonged isolation and constant monitoring.Amnesty Human Rights Report : Netherlands
The Intelligence and Security Services Act that is planned to go into effect in the future will provide sweeping surveillance powers to intelligence and security services, threatening the rights to privacy, freedom of expression and non-discrimination. Also, the possibility of information-sharing with intelligence agencies in other countries and direct access to databases of informants will be part of the new law.Amnesty Human Rights Report : NetherlandsWhat is the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services Act referendum?
Regarding the Dutch army, the biggest deployments currently underway are in Mali, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bahrain, Libia and Somalia. The Dutch army is taking part also in different border control operations in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria.The Netherlands armed forces are taking part in several major and minor missions throughout the world.