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India state-owned company shipped munitions to Israel amid Gaza war: Report

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) and the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (File Photo)

In another revelation, an Indian state-owned defense company has been accused of sending ammunition and explosives to Israel, a report says, making New Delhi actively complicit in Tel Aviv’s genocidal actions against Palestinians.

As per publicly available records, Munitions India Ltd (MIL), a public sector enterprise under the Indian Ministry of Defense, has been granted permission to export its products to Israel starting from January 2024, the Indian news website The Wire reported on Tuesday, after it revealed in February that an Indian private arms manufacturing company sent killer drones to Israel.

“On April 18, 2024, the company has again applied for exporting the same products under a repeat order from Israel. Approval for the company’s second export to Israel is under consideration by the licensing authorities,” the report said.

The granting of the exports license by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government comes despite an ongoing genocide in Gaza and speculation that the equipment might be used in the genocide by the Israeli occupying forces.

The export of the munitions by the government-owned entity puts India among the countries profiting from the Israeli genocide in Gaza.

Established in 2021, the MIL is engaged in the “production, testing, R&D and marketing of a comprehensive range of ammunition and explosives for the army, navy, air force and para-military forces.”

The Wire also reported that a private Indian company named Premier Explosives Ltd. (PEL) has been exporting explosives and allied accessories to Israel under SCOMET, or Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies, license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) at least since 2021, and has been permitted to export these items twice since Israel’s war on Gaza began last year.

The latest disclosure comes months after the Indian news outlet revealed in a report that made-in-India killer drones manufactured by the privately owned Adani group were exported from India to Israel.

Between 2019 and 2023, Hyderabad-based Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd., a joint venture by Adani Defence and Aerospace and Israel's Elbit Systems, made a sale of more than 20 Indian-made Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Israel.

Over the months, Indian pro-Palestinian advocates have voiced their concerns over the government's inconsistent stance towards Palestine. While India publicly supports the Palestinian cause and advocates for a free Palestinian state, its actions seem to indicate support for Israel's actions in Gaza, prompting criticism from activists.

Under the Modi government, relations between New Delhi and Tel Aviv have seen their unprecedented new highs.

Modi, who first came to power in 2014 hailing from the infamous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is considered a staunch supporter of Israel. He has come under criticism for standing by Israel even in the regime's latest military aggression in the Gaza Strip.

Back in October when Israel launched its devastating war in Gaza, India was among the countries that did not back a UN resolution for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza, instead choosing to abstain.

In a separate report published on Wednesday, The Wire said that the Modi government was named in reports, including one by a United Nations special rapporteur, for militarily equipping Myanmar’s notorious junta, too.

Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, reported in May last year that Indian companies, including government-owned entities, had provided arms and related materials worth $50.5 million to Myanmar's junta following the overthrow of the civilian government in February 2021.

The report clearly indicated that the military regime utilized them to carry out brutal acts against civilians.

“These weapons and the materials to manufacture more of them, have continued to flow uninterrupted to the Myanmar military despite overwhelming evidence of its (junta’s) responsibility for atrocity crimes,” the UN report had stated.

The military operations carried out by the Junta, both on land and in the air, have resulted in the deaths of almost 5,000 people and the displacement of more than 2.5 million civilians in the country.

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