"Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems has announced that its US subsidiary has been awarded a $145 million contract by the United States Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The contract calls for the deployment of border surveillance technology in southern Arizona. According to Reuters, the contract is "known as the Integrated Fixed Tower". It includes a base period quantity and options that CBP may exercise over a multi-year period. The contract is to be implemented over an approximately 12-month period.
Elbit Systems Ltd. is Israel's largest arms manufacturer.
According to Bloomberg, the Israeli company managed to beat some of the top US government contractors, including Lockheed Martin (LMT) Corp., General Dynamics Corp. (GD) and Raython Co. (RTN). The contract calls for the delivery of surveillance equipment, such as radars and cameras, mounted on fixed towers to help agents detect and track "items of interest" along the border.
Lockheed Martin has confirmed that it bid on the project and that it was "disappointed with the award decision" adding that it will "seek an opportunity to understand" the agency's decision.
There has been a growing call for divesting from Elbit Systems Ltd.
"The call to divest from Elbit Systems Ltd. has become a key element of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at ending Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid against the Palestinian people," according to Stop The Wall movement.
Elbit Systems Ltd. is the Israeli military's biggest supplier of drones. According to Jonathan Leaning of Grassroots International, Elbit Systems Ltd. "supplies the Israeli military with Hermes 450 drones, unmanned aircraft often referred to as the military's 'workhorse.' The Hermes' precise sensor capability makes it a perfect choice for patrolling Palestinian territory. Drones were involved in the killing of 29 children in Israel's attack on Gaza in 2008-2009, as well as the ongoing bombing that has been part of the Gazan experience. Elbit Systems Ltd. is also one of the contractors building the Separation Wall which snakes its way deep through Palestinian territory in the West Bank."