Adani’s Greed Amidst the Genocide in Gaza

Press Release

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) strongly condemns Adani’s recent agreements with Israel that include the sending of advanced drones with the clear potential to be deployed in aid of the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. We demand that the Indian government cancel, with immediate effect, all such deals with Israel. We are daily witness to the deliberate slaughter of Palestinians, many of them children and women. A morally depraved Israel has butchered well over 30000 Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians. As we write this, children are starving to death and famine looms over Gaza.

Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd, located in Hyderabad is a joint venture between Adani Defence and Aerospace and Elbit Systems, Israel to manufacture advanced drone systems. The latest version of these drones is called Hermes 900. This is the only Hermes production facility outside of Israel. An MoU was also recently exchanged between the Telangana Government and Adani groups with an investment of Rs 1000 crore‘ to set up a comprehensive ecosystem for the research, development, design, manufacturing and integration of counter drone and missile systems at the Adani Aerospace Park, Hyderabad.’ 

PLR Systems Pvt Ltd is a partnership between Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) and Adani Enterprises for the manufacturing of weapons. The company’s website calls it a ‘shining example of make in India’. The vulture capitalist went on to seal one of the biggest Israel-India deals in history in January 2023, by acquiring a part of Haifa Port.  Even as Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza continues, Adani Elbit has recently supplied 20 Hermes 900 drones to the Israel military. While several countries have withdrawn support to Israel in the face of its inhuman carnage of Palestinians, Adani continues to profit from it, lining its pocket with blood money.

Palestine has been a laboratory for war technologies and this genocidal ‘success’ is being marketed by Israel globally. Especially marked for its widespread destruction and maximum causalities, Israeli drone and surveillance technology targets populated areas, schools, hospitals, and even individual homes.

Israel is one of the biggest suppliers of military hardware to India which has borrowed this ‘drone tactic’ from Israel to thwart the recent farmers’ protests. Elbit Systems is the largest weapons manufacturing company in Israel and supplies nearly 81% of Israel’s drones. The Hermes 900 are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a payload capacity of around 300 kgs and an endurance of about 30 hours marking performance. Elbit has branded them as ISTAR, standing for intelligence, surveillance, targeted acquisition, and reconnaissance. They are capable of high-resolution imaging, precise bombing facilitated by a laser designator (even in densely populated areas), and large-scale surveillance. UAVs like Hermes 900 are often operated from ground control stations (GCS) situated miles away from the site of the target, causing a psychological distance and disengagement with the act of killing. UAVs also lead to what is called a ‘Play Station Mentality’ by psychologists as the interface is similar to that of video games. This inhumane disassociation between soldiers and the consequences of their actions echoes the willful and deliberate ignorance and complicity of India in this genocide against the Palestinian people.

In response to the December 29, 2023 application by South Africa against Israel alleging violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) passed significant provisional measures on January 26, 2024.  The court described South Africa’s charge as validating a plausible claim of genocide. In its order, the ICJ clearly indicated that Israel must desist from killing Palestinians or causing them bodily or mental harm. It also ordered Israel to ‘take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid.’ This historic order casts a moral and legal obligation on other country members of the ICJ and signatories of the Genocide Convention, including India, to cease funding or facilitating in any manner Israel’s military actions. Israel has so far treated the ICJ ruling with disdain and continues to perpetrate genocidal acts with catastrophic consequences.

We are opposed to India’s fast-tracking of Israeli recruitment of Indian migrant workers to replace outlawed Palestinian labour. Apart from being complicit with Israel, this also reneges on its responsibility to provide safe, secure and decently paid jobs to our own underemployed and unemployed poor.

The ICJ order and ongoing massive global protests against Israel’s crimes in Gaza and the occupied territories has played a crucial role in preventing and cancelling war assistance to Israel. The Netherlands has ceased sending parts of fighter jets to Israel, Belgium curbed the license of gunpowder exporting companies in their country this February and the Japanese government has suspended agreement contracts with the Elbit Systems. Even before the ICJ ruling, Italy had stopped weapons and military shipments to Israel.

Shamefully, India has till date not rescinded existing business deals with Israel nor has it outrightly and clearly condemned Israel for its inhumanity against the Palestinians. Its disgraceful complicity with Israel’s war crimes continues. On the other hand, India voted on December 13 last year, over two months into the bloodbath in Gaza, for an immediate and humanitarian ceasefire in Palestine at the UN General Assembly. Such performative political signaling by India is repulsive.

HRF decries this contradictory and morally repugnant stand of the Indian government. We demand that all deals with the Zionist apartheid State of Israel be annulled. We call for an immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and reiterate our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice.

VS Krishna   & S Jeevan Kumar
HRF TG & AP Coordination Committee members


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