Arms Sold:

Spike MR/LR

Spike ER

Litening

Reccelite

Searcher UAV

Orbiter-1K

LOROP

RCWS

Thermal Cameras

Companies:

Israeli Military Industries

Elops

Soltam Systems

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Spain

Introduction:

Israel and Spain maintain close economic and military relations. Israel has exported to Spain a large amount of military equipment, weapons, security technology and military training since the 1990s. Israel and Spain have also close ties in matters of military Research & Development. Israeli arms are also manufactured in Spain with Israeli licenses.

Israel - Spain Relations:

Spain and Israel had no diplomatic relations until 16 January 1986, when the protocol agreement in The Hague was signed. On February 8 of the same year, the respective ambassadors were appointed. Israeli exports to Spain have been exempted from customs duties since 1993, and the same applies to the bilateral agreement regarding the Spanish exports since the beginning of 1992.

In 2005 the Spain-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry was created, which aims to promote collaboration between private companies and Spanish and Israeli public administrations in the commercial, technological, economic, scientific, industrial, touristic and sociocultural areas. The chamber itself specifies that it covers “all sectors”.[1]

Military relations:

In 2014, Israeli defense exports amounted to close to $ 7,000 million a year. As for 2020 it could stand already at $10 million. [2]

From the Israeli perspective, Spain is a good route into Europe for its arms industry, and this interest increases with the creation of a single agency for acquisitions of defense products carried out by Europe. Thus, although Spain is not one of Israel’s main customers in military material, it is one of the most important objectives for cooperation between companies. “The average annual turnover between Spanish and Israeli companies ranges between 50 and 70 million dollars”, said Itamar Graff, former chief counsel of the delegation of the Defense Ministry of Israel in Spain.

Different military agreements between Spain and Israel were signed between 1997-2012 including the MoU on Defense Industrial Cooperation (1997), the MoU on Assurance of Defense Products’ Quality (1998), the MoU on Cooperation in Military and Defense Research and Development (2004). The largest military cooperation agreement that was signed in 2009, serves as a legal framework for the development of any project of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense.[3] In 2010 another MoU on military relations and cooperation was signed. In 2011 an agreement on the protection of classified information between the countries was signed and in 2012 an agreement on policies to “fight terrorism, organized crime, money laundering, cyber-crimes and criminal behavior in general.

Military trade relations between Spain and Israel are not really based on arms exports but on industrial cooperation. The Israeli Defense Ministry has cooperated with a high number of Spanish companies, among others with Indra and Tecnobit. In the opposite direction, many Israeli military companies collaborate with the Spanish industry, mainly on electronic warfare systems, missiles, and protection of vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles or border protection, among others.

The first relations in the military field were oriented to the modernization of M-60 combat vehicles, flight simulators, electronic transmissions and observation from the air, plus other aeronautical exchange equipment.

In 1988 Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) opened a permanent office to facilitate military cooperation between Spain and Israel. [4]

The volume of Israeli exports to Spain is difficult to calculate because, in contrast to Spanish exports, the Spanish and Israeli Governments do not publish information and not many other sources knowing that data are identified. These transfers are much higher than Spanish exports, and only the purchase of Spike missiles from the Israeli company Rafael in 2006 represented a cost of 324 million euro.[5]

In 1995, Spain acquired Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and modernized the configuration of its Boeing 707 to the SIGINT system (intelligence signals). The company in charge of this modernization was IAI. This system is based on the technology of the Israeli companies Elta Electronics and Tamam. Furthermore, the Spanish army has used the air system for search and rescue ARS 700 of the Israeli company Tadiran Spectralink, as well as the rescue survival radio PRC-434 of the same company. Spanish soldiers serving in Bosnia used the latter. Examples of Israeli imports of military material and other attempts to gain access to contracts by Israeli companies are numerous.[6] Most significant arms that were exported from Israel to Spain include UAVs, targeting pods for combat aircrafts and anti-tank missiles.[7]

Subsidiaries of Israeli Security Companies in Spain are Pap Tecnos (most of Rafael’s transactions in Spain take place through it), and Aeronautics Enterprise Espana S.A. In addition the Spanish company Triedro (owned by Revenga Group) fabricates development systems together with the Israeli company Bluebird Aero Systems Ltd.

Companies, that are offering and distributing arms in Spain include Rabintex Industries, Meprolight, Smart S, Source Military, Israeli Military Industries, IMI Defense, Agilite, FAB Defense, Heartech, Cupron, MTI Wireless Edge, and Landatel. The products can be imported from Israel or manufactured in Spain with Israeli License.[8]

Intelligence, Homeland Security and Cyber Security

Relations between Israel and Spain are also important in the area of Intelligence and Homeland Security including information exchange on strategic and operational intelligence, coordination of activities (technical and scientific assistance, cooperation in professional training, transfer of specialized equipment), promotion of joint research and organizing meetings, conferences, and courses.

Reports show that through services by the Spanish company “Guardian Defense and Homeland Security” Spanish and Catalan security forces conducted trainings in Israel, led by official Israeli security forces.[9] Homeland Security Guardian SA, based in Spain, is the parent company of Guardian Holdings LTD, which has an export license since March 2006 from the Israeli Ministry of Defense for products and services related to security and defense. The company was founded by former members of the Special Security Services of Israel: Ariel Mazoz, Ilan Arzooan and General (ret) Dr. Yom Tov Samia.[10]

Civil Guard officers (individually) or bodyguards of businesspeople, politicians and judges in the Basque Country were students in courses conducted in Israel. Security and Intelligence Advising provided a course in Israel, attended by representatives of the Spanish firms BBVA, Telefónica and Renfe.[11] Training programs were also carried out in Spain. For example, in April 2008, two Hebrew experts instructed agents of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and civil guards, mainly in the management of express kidnappings and the detection of “Islamist terrorist groups”.

Spain as a Gateway to Latin America and Europe

Because Spain is the gateway to Central and South America, as well as to Europe and North Africa, it plays a role that goes beyond its borders. Spain’s relations with Israel go far beyond business in Spanish or Israeli territory. The companies of the two countries cooperate to have access to contracts and opportunities in third countries. One of the companies that stand out in this regard is Indra. Indra and Rafael, for example, work together on a “very interesting program in a Latin American country.” According to Rafael, “with Indra we hardly compete, hence our partnership to work jointly in international programs.”[12]  In Latin America, Indra is present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

Spanish Arms Export to Israel

In 2020 Spain has vetoed three large export deals with Israel over fears the equipment would be “misused”. A report indicates that the largest contract which was annulled was a security equipment sale worth 10 million Euros to a private company. The Spanish government also decided to revoke a sale of 2,000 handcuffs to Israel’s police — a deal worth around 17,000 Euros — over human rights infringements concerns. Another sales deal with a private company that was cancelled, worth around 95,000 Euros, included 550 units of electronic equipment for unmanned vehicles. The reason for cancelling was over fears it would be used for military purposes. [13]

In 2019, Spain exported military supplies worth 2.1 million Euros to Israel, including weapons, ammo and night vision means.

Usage of Israeli Arms:

Searcher MK-II UAV – The Spanish military deployed four models in Afghanistan in 2008. The mission was to support the Spanish troops in Afghanistan from the military base in Herat, in the west of Afghanistan. Four aerial platforms, a ground control station, a launching/deployment and landing system, a ground data terminal, and a remote video terminal, with the corresponding logistics and training support were deployed. Between 2008-2014 the Searcher models have been used in more than 500 missions, totaling over 2,500 hours of flight, many of them in the provinces of Herat and Badghis.

Heron 1 – was tested in operation “Minerva” by the Spanish Civil Guard, aimed at the surveillance of Spanish coasts.[14]

Cardom Mortar System – in Use by Spanish Land Army. Were first used in Afghanistan in the “Goshawk” operation.

Mini Samson remote control systems – In use by Spanish Army

Spike missiles – Spike MR in use by Spanish Infantry units, Spike ER in use on Tiger helicopters. In 2012 the Land Army carried out the first launch with the new LR-Dual Spike missile in the training center of San Gregorio, in Zaragoza.[15]

Litening – In use by Spanish Air Force on F/A-18 aircraft fighters

Reccelite – used by the Spanish fleet of Boeing fighters.

Human Rights Violations:

In 2019 several protests took place in Catalonia. Although most demonstrations were largely peaceful, there were several violent incidents during which hundreds of people were injured. In a number of instances, the police used excessive force against protesters. At least 367 people needed medical assistance, four of whom reportedly lost sight in one eye after being hit by rubber bullets and balls fired by police to disperse protesters. None of the investigations into reports of excessive use of force by police during the protests in October 2017 in Catalonia had resulted in prosecutions by the end of the year.

Afghanistan

Spain deployed military forces in Afghanistan from 2002-2015. Thousands of civilians were killed in this period by airstrikes of international military forces. [16] [17]

Refugees and Migrants

In the policies of external borders control of the European Union in general, and Spain in particular, the respect for fundamental rights of migrants trying to reach European territory by irregular means does not constitute a priority. The Spanish State fails to innact its own legal procedures re. Spanish border control regulations, using instead “routes de facto” infringing basic rights of foreign nationals who are seeking to enter Spain through irregular channels. Some examples:

  • August-October of 2005. 16 migrants die at the borders of Ceuta and Melilla as a result of the actions of the Spanish and Moroccan security forces. Dozens were injured. The deaths and injuries occurred due to blows melted out with riot gear, rifle butts and shooting.[18]

 

  • September 2012.The Spanish Government carried out a collective expulsion of 73 migrants from the island of Tierra (territory beside the Moroccan coast under Spanish sovereignty), openly violating Spanish and international legislation applicable in these circumstances. Adequate humanitarian care was not provided, the right to seek international protection was violated, a collective expulsion, expressly forbidden in Spanish legislation, was carried out.[19]

Sales Records Table:

1. ^ http://controlpmsc.org/files/2014/07/SPAIN-ISRAEL_W.compressed.pdf

2. ^ http://controlpmsc.org/files/2014/07/SPAIN-ISRAEL_W.compressed.pdf

3. ^ www.mde.es/descarga/acuerdo.pdf

4. ^ “Ingenieros de España e Israel establecen contractos técnicos para el desarrollo de un futuro misil español”, El País, 2 February 1989.

5. ^ https://novact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Spain-Israel.-Military-Homeland-Security-and-Armament-based-Relations-Affairs-and-Trends1.pdf

6. ^ https://novact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Spain-Israel.-Military-Homeland-Security-and-Armament-based-Relations-Affairs-and-Trends1.pdf

7. ^ Sipri

8. ^ http://controlpmsc.org/files/2014/07/SPAIN-ISRAEL_W.compressed.pdf

9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPrNmGcIFpY

10. ^ http://www.guardianspain.com/sobre-nosotros

11. ^ Curso de Security Management en Español en Israel culmina con participación de altísimo nivel española, estadounidense y latinoamericana”, note of SIA on 19 July 2004, available at: www.siacorp.com/190704press.htm

12. ^ “La compañía israelí Rafael se instala en España con la compra de la empresa local PAP Tecnos”, Infodefensa.com, 14 June 2010.

13. ^ https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/1591799933-spain-vetoed-large-export-deals-with-israel-over-fears-of-misuse-report

14. ^ http://www.ejercitodelaire.mde.es/stweb/ea/ficheros/pdf/0A8AD73187BC1A76C125757D0047F769.pdf

15. ^ http://controlpmsc.org/files/2014/07/SPAIN-ISRAEL_W.compressed.pdf

16. ^ https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Human%20Costs%2C%20Nov%208%202018%20CoW.pdf

17. ^ https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2015/War%20Related%20Casualties%20Afghanistan%20and%20Pakistan%202001-2014%20FIN.pdf

18. ^ http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/Migreurop_-_Spain_-_Report_for_the_Human_Rights_Commission_of_the_Council_of_Europe.pdf

19. ^ http://www.migreurop.org/IMG/pdf/Migreurop_-_Spain_-_Report_for_the_Human_Rights_Commission_of_the_Council_of_Europe.pdf

Spain

Israel and Spain maintain close economic and military relations. Israel has exported to Spain a large amount of military equipment, weapons, security technology and military training since the 1990s. Israel and Spain have also close ties in matters of military Research & Development. Israeli arms are also manufactured in Spain with Israeli licenses.

Spain and Israel had no diplomatic relations until 16 January 1986, when the protocol agreement in The Hague was signed. On February 8 of the same year, the respective ambassadors were appointed. Israeli exports to Spain have been exempted from customs duties since 1993, and the same applies to the bilateral agreement regarding the Spanish exports since the beginning of 1992.

In 2005 the Spain-Israel Chamber of Commerce and Industry was created, which aims to promote collaboration between private companies and Spanish and Israeli public administrations in the commercial, technological, economic, scientific, industrial, touristic and sociocultural areas. The chamber itself specifies that it covers “all sectors”.[1]

In 2014, Israeli defense exports amounted to close to $ 7,000 million a year. As for 2020 it could stand already at $10 million. [2]

From the Israeli perspective, Spain is a good route into Europe for its arms industry, and this interest increases with the creation of a single agency for acquisitions of defense products carried out by Europe. Thus, although Spain is not one of Israel’s main customers in military material, it is one of the most important objectives for cooperation between companies. “The average annual turnover between Spanish and Israeli companies ranges between 50 and 70 million dollars”, said Itamar Graff, former chief counsel of the delegation of the Defense Ministry of Israel in Spain.

Different military agreements between Spain and Israel were signed between 1997-2012 including the MoU on Defense Industrial Cooperation (1997), the MoU on Assurance of Defense Products’ Quality (1998), the MoU on Cooperation in Military and Defense Research and Development (2004). The largest military cooperation agreement that was signed in 2009, serves as a legal framework for the development of any project of bilateral cooperation in the field of defense.[3] In 2010 another MoU on military relations and cooperation was signed. In 2011 an agreement on the protection of classified information between the countries was signed and in 2012 an agreement on policies to “fight terrorism, organized crime, money laundering, cyber-crimes and criminal behavior in general.

Military trade relations between Spain and Israel are not really based on arms exports but on industrial cooperation. The Israeli Defense Ministry has cooperated with a high number of Spanish companies, among others with Indra and Tecnobit. In the opposite direction, many Israeli military companies collaborate with the Spanish industry, mainly on electronic warfare systems, missiles, and protection of vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles or border protection, among others.

The first relations in the military field were oriented to the modernization of M-60 combat vehicles, flight simulators, electronic transmissions and observation from the air, plus other aeronautical exchange equipment.

In 1988 Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) opened a permanent office to facilitate military cooperation between Spain and Israel. [4]

The volume of Israeli exports to Spain is difficult to calculate because, in contrast to Spanish exports, the Spanish and Israeli Governments do not publish information and not many other sources knowing that data are identified. These transfers are much higher than Spanish exports, and only the purchase of Spike missiles from the Israeli company Rafael in 2006 represented a cost of 324 million euro.[5]

In 1995, Spain acquired Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and modernized the configuration of its Boeing 707 to the SIGINT system (intelligence signals). The company in charge of this modernization was IAI. This system is based on the technology of the Israeli companies Elta Electronics and Tamam. Furthermore, the Spanish army has used the air system for search and rescue ARS 700 of the Israeli company Tadiran Spectralink, as well as the rescue survival radio PRC-434 of the same company. Spanish soldiers serving in Bosnia used the latter. Examples of Israeli imports of military material and other attempts to gain access to contracts by Israeli companies are numerous.[6] Most significant arms that were exported from Israel to Spain include UAVs, targeting pods for combat aircrafts and anti-tank missiles.[7]

Subsidiaries of Israeli Security Companies in Spain are Pap Tecnos (most of Rafael’s transactions in Spain take place through it), and Aeronautics Enterprise Espana S.A. In addition the Spanish company Triedro (owned by Revenga Group) fabricates development systems together with the Israeli company Bluebird Aero Systems Ltd.

Companies, that are offering and distributing arms in Spain include Rabintex Industries, Meprolight, Smart S, Source Military, Israeli Military Industries, IMI Defense, Agilite, FAB Defense, Heartech, Cupron, MTI Wireless Edge, and Landatel. The products can be imported from Israel or manufactured in Spain with Israeli License.[8]

Intelligence, Homeland Security and Cyber Security

Relations between Israel and Spain are also important in the area of Intelligence and Homeland Security including information exchange on strategic and operational intelligence, coordination of activities (technical and scientific assistance, cooperation in professional training, transfer of specialized equipment), promotion of joint research and organizing meetings, conferences, and courses.

Reports show that through services by the Spanish company “Guardian Defense and Homeland Security” Spanish and Catalan security forces conducted trainings in Israel, led by official Israeli security forces.[9] Homeland Security Guardian SA, based in Spain, is the parent company of Guardian Holdings LTD, which has an export license since March 2006 from the Israeli Ministry of Defense for products and services related to security and defense. The company was founded by former members of the Special Security Services of Israel: Ariel Mazoz, Ilan Arzooan and General (ret) Dr. Yom Tov Samia.[10]

Civil Guard officers (individually) or bodyguards of businesspeople, politicians and judges in the Basque Country were students in courses conducted in Israel. Security and Intelligence Advising provided a course in Israel, attended by representatives of the Spanish firms BBVA, Telefónica and Renfe.[11] Training programs were also carried out in Spain. For example, in April 2008, two Hebrew experts instructed agents of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and civil guards, mainly in the management of express kidnappings and the detection of “Islamist terrorist groups”.

Spain as a Gateway to Latin America and Europe

Because Spain is the gateway to Central and South America, as well as to Europe and North Africa, it plays a role that goes beyond its borders. Spain’s relations with Israel go far beyond business in Spanish or Israeli territory. The companies of the two countries cooperate to have access to contracts and opportunities in third countries. One of the companies that stand out in this regard is Indra. Indra and Rafael, for example, work together on a “very interesting program in a Latin American country.” According to Rafael, “with Indra we hardly compete, hence our partnership to work jointly in international programs.”[12]  In Latin America, Indra is present in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

Spanish Arms Export to Israel

In 2020 Spain has vetoed three large export deals with Israel over fears the equipment would be “misused”. A report indicates that the largest contract which was annulled was a security equipment sale worth 10 million Euros to a private company. The Spanish government also decided to revoke a sale of 2,000 handcuffs to Israel’s police — a deal worth around 17,000 Euros — over human rights infringements concerns. Another sales deal with a private company that was cancelled, worth around 95,000 Euros, included 550 units of electronic equipment for unmanned vehicles. The reason for cancelling was over fears it would be used for military purposes. [13]

In 2019, Spain exported military supplies worth 2.1 million Euros to Israel, including weapons, ammo and night vision means.

Searcher MK-II UAV – The Spanish military deployed four models in Afghanistan in 2008. The mission was to support the Spanish troops in Afghanistan from the military base in Herat, in the west of Afghanistan. Four aerial platforms, a ground control station, a launching/deployment and landing system, a ground data terminal, and a remote video terminal, with the corresponding logistics and training support were deployed. Between 2008-2014 the Searcher models have been used in more than 500 missions, totaling over 2,500 hours of flight, many of them in the provinces of Herat and Badghis.

Heron 1 – was tested in operation “Minerva” by the Spanish Civil Guard, aimed at the surveillance of Spanish coasts.[14]

Cardom Mortar System – in Use by Spanish Land Army. Were first used in Afghanistan in the “Goshawk” operation.

Mini Samson remote control systems – In use by Spanish Army

Spike missiles – Spike MR in use by Spanish Infantry units, Spike ER in use on Tiger helicopters. In 2012 the Land Army carried out the first launch with the new LR-Dual Spike missile in the training center of San Gregorio, in Zaragoza.[15]

Litening – In use by Spanish Air Force on F/A-18 aircraft fighters

Reccelite – used by the Spanish fleet of Boeing fighters.

In 2019 several protests took place in Catalonia. Although most demonstrations were largely peaceful, there were several violent incidents during which hundreds of people were injured. In a number of instances, the police used excessive force against protesters. At least 367 people needed medical assistance, four of whom reportedly lost sight in one eye after being hit by rubber bullets and balls fired by police to disperse protesters. None of the investigations into reports of excessive use of force by police during the protests in October 2017 in Catalonia had resulted in prosecutions by the end of the year.

Afghanistan

Spain deployed military forces in Afghanistan from 2002-2015. Thousands of civilians were killed in this period by airstrikes of international military forces. [16] [17]

Refugees and Migrants

In the policies of external borders control of the European Union in general, and Spain in particular, the respect for fundamental rights of migrants trying to reach European territory by irregular means does not constitute a priority. The Spanish State fails to innact its own legal procedures re. Spanish border control regulations, using instead “routes de facto” infringing basic rights of foreign nationals who are seeking to enter Spain through irregular channels. Some examples:

  • August-October of 2005. 16 migrants die at the borders of Ceuta and Melilla as a result of the actions of the Spanish and Moroccan security forces. Dozens were injured. The deaths and injuries occurred due to blows melted out with riot gear, rifle butts and shooting.[18]
  • September 2012.The Spanish Government carried out a collective expulsion of 73 migrants from the island of Tierra (territory beside the Moroccan coast under Spanish sovereignty), openly violating Spanish and international legislation applicable in these circumstances. Adequate humanitarian care was not provided, the right to seek international protection was violated, a collective expulsion, expressly forbidden in Spanish legislation, was carried out.[19]