Israel Admits its Hermes 450 Surveillance Drones are Used to Kill

Jan 30, 2021

Despite Israel declaring its Hermes 450 drones are designed only for surveillance, historic official Israeli army reports confirm they have been using them to assassinate and kill.

The Israeli military’s use of Hermes 450 drones to slaughter Palestinians was openly confirmed in an official army document some years ago, the contents of which have now been subsequently removed without explanation. Essentially, it would appear that these reports have since been been deleted from public view, or re-classified as secret, to protect Elbit’s tarnished image and boost its revamped marketing campaigns promoting its drones as surveillance equipment.

As stated in earlier Israeli military reports, the Hermes 450 — dubbed Zik in the Israeli army, is an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the Israeli military’s Artillery Corps, which was widely used in lethal Israel Air Force operations, according to the army’s website. The original document published by Israel detailing its so-called military operations in 2014, stated that its so-called surveillance drones had attacked 5,226 Palestinian “targets” during its bombardment on the people of Gaza and destroyed 32 tunnels, of which 14 were located outside of Gaza’s territory — or in other words, in occupied Palestine.

In 2014, over 2,000 Palestinian civilians were slaughtered, including over 500 children in just 51 days. A high proportion of these attacks were carried out by the Hermes 450, now being untruthfully promoted as a surveillance drone — it is no secret that both the Hermes 450 and 900 models were not deployed to surveil in 2014; they were deployed to cause maximal destruction, by bombing civilian infrastructure and erase the lives of innocent people living in a region with no bomb shelters — Gaza.

According to a Ha’aretz report, two specific incidents cited in the document were when four Palestinian people were killed using the Hermes 450 at Zikim beach, when Israel “thwarted” an attempt to cross through a border tunnel. The paper noted that “the army does not usually formally declare what it does with its unmanned vehicles” and has persistently implied that its drones are only used for collecting intelligence. The contradictions are blatant, and the yet the British government still continue to collude with Elbit and increase its investment contracts, knowing the company have been involved in multiple and well-documented war crimes.

Photographs of Israel’s 450 drones have been taken in the skies over Gaza where the unmanned vehicle is clearly captured carrying a “payload” or in other words, a missile capable of immense destruction; these are unmanned killing machines deceptively marketed to the outside world as harmless surveillance vehicles. 

In Britain alone, Elbit now has 10 production sites, or offices, including a factory in the unwitting village of Shenstone, near Lichfield, that manufactures the engines for these drones, along with other munitions banned under international law. For this to be exposed, Palestine Action, a new network of activists working to shut Elbit down, have blockaded the factory on several occasions — once just last week, with the intention to see Elbit in court, where it will be subpoenaed to release evidence of just exactly what is being produced inside these innocuous-looking office blocks. Elbit are renowned for dropping the charges against protestors purely to keep its activities hidden from view and protect the British government from being implicated in its complicity.

Several activists are awaiting trial for an occupation on the roof of the Shenstone factory in September. But the only similar UK case involving an Elbit factory was dropped at the last minute, after Elbit managers decided to retract the case against the activists in case their illegal activities were made public in the courts. This is an ongoing pattern, but as more of the public become aware of Elbit, protests and court cases are increasing. How long Elbit can sustain its secrecy is a matter of time and also a matter of persistence on behalf the activists prepared to keep up the fight.

Palestine Action, a fast-growing movement, now endorsed by various artists and celebrities including former Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, intend to continue the fight to have all of Elbit’s production sites shut down and force the company’s eviction from the UK. This is not a battle which the movement intends to lose and eventually, people power, which is growing in numbers day-by-day will indeed force them out. Elbit, of course, won’t cease to produce its munitions, but it will be unable to rely on cheap materials made on the UK’s doorstep, or indeed, make use of a cheap unwitting workforce. This is only a first step in the battle to end its ability to manufacture murderous weaponry; Palestine Action is going global; the second step is already in place.

Support the resistance & help win the mission to #ShutElbitDown & end Israeli tyranny | check out ways you can get involved