Israel Lifts Ban of ‘Suicide’ Drone Sales to Baku

Launching an Orbiter 1 drone
Launching an Orbiter 1 drone

Launching an Orbiter 1 drone

Israel’s defense ministry of Monday lifted an earlier ban on sales of so-called “suicide” drones to Azerbaijan by a company that live-tested its products on Artsakh positions by an order from Baku, which is considered a violation of Israeli law.

In 2017, Israel’s defense ministry suspended the sale of the Kamikaze drones manufactured by Aeronautics Ltd. to Azerbaijan, after reports of live testing the drones on Artsakh targets was reported, resulting in a criminal investigation.

Last week, the defense ministry suspended the export licenses of three high-level company officials effective April of this year. While this suspension remain in effect for the individuals, the company has been cleared to complete a deal estimated at $20 million with Azerbaijan paving the way for Azeri forces to use the drones on Artsakh targets.

It is worth noting that according to the Times of Israel Aeronautics Ltd. the defense ministry’s ruling on Monday came three weeks after Aeronautics Ltd. was sold to Rafaek, a state-run defense contractor for a reported $231.7 million.

In 2017, it was reported that officials of the company refused the request to carry out live testing of the the Orbiter 1K suicide drone system on live Artsakh targets, and after being threatened by Azerbaijani, senior representative of the company armed and operated the drone, which is said to have missed its target without causing damage.

According to reports by the Artsakh Armed Forces, Azerbaijani forces carried out a drone attack in northeastern Artsakh on July 7, 2017, injuring two soldiers.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reacted to lifting of the ban by Israel’s defense ministry, saying that the international arms race in the region is extremely dangerous

“We will raise this issue both in our bilateral meetings [with Israeli officials] and on multilateral platforms … We will keep telling our international partners that an arms race is extremely dangerous for our region,” said Anna Naghdalyan, the spokesperson of the foreign ministry on Tuesday.

In August 2018, Israel’s justice ministry moved to charge high-level executives of Aeronautics Ltd. with violating Israeli laws on security export controls. The Aeronautics Ltd. officials at the time denied any wrongdoing.

Azerbaijani forces vastly used drones, manufactured by another Israeli company, during the massive attack they launched in April, 2016. Artsakh forces destroyed or seized the drones during the defense of what has become known as the Four-Day War.

While official Baku will be able to completer its $20 million purchase of “suicide” drones, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries—Russia, France and the U.S.—tasked with mediating an end to the Karabakh conflict must unequivocally condemn Israel’s continued insistence on inserting itself in the conflict and becoming an obstacle for its peaceful resolution.

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11 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    It’s all for show. They will sell and then sell some more as long as it suites their purpose. All the procedural legal circus is to create a false facade of decency and morality.

  2. Mike Sarian said:

    Of all nations Israel should not be selling weapons to Azeris! The face holocaust just like us and did suffer and established a nation on the ashes of a major trauma just like the Armenians and still face enemies just like us! We similar histories and similar backgrounds. I guess few dollars speak louder than friendship and sufferings!!! Shame for 20M they are selling their soul!

  3. Mike Sarian said:

    Of all nations Israel should not be selling weapons to Azeris! They faced holocaust just like us and did suffer and established a nation on the ashes of a major trauma just like the Armenians and still face enemies just like us! We similar histories and similar backgrounds. I guess few dollars speak louder than friendship and sufferings!!! Shame for 20M they are selling their soul!

  4. Mike Sarian said:

    Of all nations Israel should not be selling weapons to Azeris! They faced holocaust just like us and did suffer and established a nation on the ashes of a major trauma just like the Armenians and still face enemies just like us! We share similar histories and similar backgrounds. I guess few dollars speak louder than friendship and sufferings!!! Shame for 20M they are selling their soul!

  5. Serop said:

    Israel is one of the worlds top weapons producers and they sell to just about anyone. Israel has no qualms at all selling advanced weapons to the the totaleterian state of azerbaijan, and they know very well everything sold to azerbaijan will be used against Armenia.
    Israel I am sure will understand when Armenia begins supplying advanced Russian arms to Syria or Iran and even Hezzbollah , after all as the as the famous Quote
    “We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon – no alternative. ” ~~ Golda Meir”
    And we say to Israel that in our war with turks we have a secret weapon We have no friensds & no alternative”
    So please dont start yelling anti-Semitisim when the Hezzabollah or Syria beging bombing Israel with weapons supplied by Russia & Armenia after all business is business.

  6. ara said:

    Ok. Azeris will spit I this own grave. Israel will lose firneds nandcnake more enemies that will hurt and bite. Assholes

  7. Zareh Sahakian said:

    In return Armenia should send a message back to Israel….Pashynian should sign a much closer cooperation with Iran.

  8. Zartir Lao said:

    If Armenia cared about Israel giving Azerbaijan suicide drones, Armenia could find a way to supply the same to Lebanon and Syria to make Israel think twice OR when it was used like in 2016 Armenia should have destroyed pipelines supplying Israel with Azeri oil. The fact that Armenia sits back and does nothing, why would a country like Israel even care about what Armenia thinks or wants? And Armenian leadership are too incompetent, and too self-serving to care about Armenia’s future. And the fact that they have to do what “Mother Russia” tells them does not help either, because Russia is in bed with Israel just like every other western country.

  9. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    Armenia , find your enemy of Isreal , first ban sale this military hardware but re instituted back under pressure , maybe huge money bribery back on sale for Azeri goverment to use against peace loving Artsakh people , wake up Armenian leaders do not promise any land , even you give them land these barbaric azeris still will use violence to conquere more Armenian lands.

  10. ANTRANIG said:

    ISRAEL WHERE IS YOUR HUMANITY AND CONSCEINCE, HONOR AND DIGNITY???? DO NOT SELL WEAPONS TO GENOCIDAL TURKS

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