Mr. Minister of defense,
According to the French Chief of the Defense Staff, the French army plans to replace its tactical drones by 2016/2017. According to the head of the Direction General de l’Armement, this technological choice could be done throughout the year 2015. Among the possible choices, the drone Watchkeeper is highly placed.
The drone Watchkeeper is developed by the United Kingdom branch of the French group Thales and based on the drone Hermes 450 of the Israeli company Elbit Systems.
Yet, as stated by the High International Institutions and specialized NGOs, the drone Hermes 450 is one of the principal weapons used by the Israeli army while committing war crimes or even crimes against Humanity, against the Palestinian population in general and the ones of the Gaza strip in particular,
Furthermore, the Israeli company Elbit Systems is electronically equipping the ‘Wall’, declared by the International Court of Justice as illegal and which imprisons the Palestinian population of the West Bank.
Finally, as the principal actors of the military-industrial complex, of which Elbit Systems is part, have stated the Palestinian population is used as a guinea pig to test their weapons in total violation of the 4th Geneva Convention.
France, and all states, seen its European and international responsibilities, has the obligation to ensure that Israel, as any other state, respects the international law. Therefore, if the acquisition of the drone Watchkeeper is confirmed we hold you, and your government, accountable for leading French taxpayers to participate in a political process, which underlines the failure of the French government to take its responsibilities committed to international law. In addition, this potential acquisition supports de facto the Israeli military industry, which serves colonial, mortal and illegal politics.
Refusing this collaboration we support the appeal of the Palestinian civil society for an international military embargo against the state of Israel until the latter respects the international law. Therefore, we ask you to refuse to buy the drone Watchkeeper.