India shipped explosives to Israel: Al Jazeera report

A report by Qatari news network Al Jazeera said that an Israel-bound cargo vessel containing munitions set sail from the port of Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
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A report by Al Jazeera has claimed that India has been exporting arms to Israel as it wages war in Gaza against Palestine. The brutal war in Palestine has resulted in the death of more than 37,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children.

The report by Al Jazeera comes a month after a cargo vessel, Borkum, was forced to avoid docking off the coast of Cartagena in Spain over opposition from Palestinian supporters in the country.  Al Jazeera said that the vessel contained explosives exported from India and that the cargo was headed to the Israeli port of Ashdod, located approximately 30 kilometres from the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera claimed that the shipment originated from India, stating they had read documents proving the weapons were loaded in India. The report also said that several marine tracking sites had shown the vessel departing the Indian coast of Chennai on April 2 and that it had avoided the Red Sea since Yemeni Houthi forces had been attacking Israel-bound vessels.

A part of the document allegedly contained certain identification codes that suggested that the Borkum contained 20 tonnes of rocket engines, 12.5 tonnes of rockets with explosive charges, 1,500 kg (3,300 pounds) of explosive substances and 740 kg (1,630 pounds) of charges and propellants for cannons, wrote Al Jazeera.

The report also quoted a paragraph on confidentiality that stated that all employees, consultants or other relevant parties were mandated that “under no circumstances” were they to name IMI Systems or Israel. IMI Systems was bought by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons manufacturer. Elbit Systems and the Gujarat-based Adani Group’s Adani Defence & Aerospace established a private unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturing facility in a joint venture in 2018. The facility, the first of its kind in India, is responsible for manufacturing specialised UAVs for use by the military.

At Cartagena, protestors demanded that the ship be inspected by the government upon suspicions over its cargo. The President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, also received a letter from a group of European Members of Parliament requesting him to deny entry to the vessel. “Allowing a ship loaded with weapons destined for Israel is to allow the transit of arms to a country currently under investigation for genocide against the Palestinian people,” they stated. The ship then sailed to the Slovenian port of Koper. Following this incident, the Danish cargo vessel Marianne Danica was denied entry to the same port following news that it was shipping military cargo to Israel.

The reports have come amidst India’s decision to abstain from voting in favour of a ceasefire on a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council that called for an immediate ceasefire in the region, along with an arms embargo on Israel on April 5. Earlier, India had voted in favour of a new resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that called for an immediate ceasefire in December 2023.

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