Israeli firm in second Irish army contract
John Downes, News Investigations Correspondent
A controversial Israeli defence company which was awarded a multimillion-euro contract by the Irish government before last May's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla received another lucrative contract from Ireland in the past three years.
A spokesman for the Department of Defence confirmed that the company, Elbit Systems, supplied an artillery fire control system to the defence forces for €3.2m between 2007 and 2009.
The contract to supply the system was in addition to a €2.37m contract to provide surveillance and target acquisition equipment to four light tactical armoured vehicles.
Defence minister Tony Killeen recently confirmed that this more recent contract will not be subject to any sanctions in light of the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla.
Elbit was dropped from Norway's pension fund last year over ethical concerns, after it emerged that it was involved in work on the separation wall between Israel and the West Bank. The company supplies surveillance equipment to monitor the barrier.
Norway's then finance minister Kristin Halvorsen said it did not wish "to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law".
However, a spokesman for the Department of Defence said Killeen does not intend to review his decision to award the contract.
Last week the government persuaded the EU Commission to withdraw a plan to allow Israel access to private information on European citizens in protest at the misuse of Irish passports by suspected Israeli agents.
September 5, 2010
17 hours ago