Search
Search

FRANCE

France equipped Israel with armed drones used in Gaza, according to an investigation

Israel reportedly paid 55,000 euros for the equipment, i.e. a total of 440,000 euros for eight transponders.

France equipped Israel with armed drones used in Gaza, according to an investigation

A Hermes-900 drone. (Credit: AFP Archive Photo)

An investigation published Monday by the French investigative media Disclose revealed that France recently supplied electronic equipment for the assembly of Hermes-900 drones, used by Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza. Compiling several NGO reports and Israeli army statements, Disclose said that Israel carried out at least eight lethal strikes by Israeli drones against the civilian population and infrastructure in Gaza since the conflict broke out in October 2023.

"Despite the use of Hermes-900s in the current bombardments in Gaza, the Thales group, 26 percent owned by the French state, recently delivered electronic equipment for the assembly of these armed drones, as revealed in a dozen confidential documents obtained by Disclose," said the media outlet. According to these documents, the war materiel sold by France to Israel is classified by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces as "surveillance, target tracking and reconnaissance systems" and enables Israeli drones to avoid any risk of collision or firing between "friendly" aircraft.

"At least eight of these transponders were due to be shipped to Israel between December 2023 and the end of May 2024, several months after the first IDF aerial bombardments. Two were delivered in early 2024. The other six units are reportedly being held up by French customs," explained Disclose. "The shipment to Israel of the remaining six transponders was scheduled for May 26, 2024. However, according to our information, the packages are currently being held up at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport, due to a lack of customs clearance," the media outlet pointed out.

Israel reportedly paid 55,000 euros for the equipment, i.e. a total of 440,000 euros for eight transponders.

The Hermes-900 drones are mainly used by drone battalion number 166, dubbed the "Firebird Squadron," whose mission is to monitor Gazan territory, carry out reconnaissance and carry out strikes. These drones can be recognized by their 15-meter-long wings, and are capable of flying for over 30 hours at an altitude of some 9,000 meters.

These drones have also been used in Lebanon, where almost daily fighting has been taking place since October 8 on the border between Hezbollah and Israel, in the wake of the Gaza war. The party has claimed to have shot down five Hermes drones since February, while the Israeli army has confirmed the destruction of just one.

This article originally appeared in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.

An investigation published Monday by the French investigative media Disclose revealed that France recently supplied electronic equipment for the assembly of Hermes-900 drones, used by Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza. Compiling several NGO reports and Israeli army statements, Disclose said that Israel carried out at least eight lethal strikes by Israeli drones against the civilian...