MPPM condemns Portugal's purchase of Israeli war material for Air Force plane KC-390

MPPM – the Portuguese Movement for the Rights of the Palestinian People and for Peace in the Middle East strongly denounces and condemns Portugal's acquisition of Israeli electronic warfare equipment (EW Suite) for the KC-390 aircraft under construction for the Portuguese Air Force.

Council of Ministers Resolution 120/2019 of 11 July 2019 [1] authorizing the acquisition of five KC-390 airplanes and one flight simulator and their logistical support contracts includes in its point 1. (c): «The purchase of electronic warfare equipment (EW Suite) for the KC-390 aircraft from Elbit Systems EW and Sigint - Elisra, up to a maximum of EUR 44,969,053, plus VAT».

Elbit Systems is one of Israel's largest security and defense companies. It supplies equipment to the various branches of the Israeli military, thus participating in — and benefiting from — the criminal and illegal occupation by the Zionist state of the Palestinian territories and from the assaults on Lebanon and other countries in the region. Elbit and its various subsidiaries contribute directly to two of the occupation's most vicious facets: the indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations, by providing drones and other military equipment to the occupation forces ; and the growing ghettoization of the West Bank by providing electronic and surveillance systems for the Apartheid Wall and the settlements.

Strangely, in the official press release of the press conference given by the Defense Minister after the said meeting of the Council of Ministers [2] it is stated that «The Council of Ministers has approved the disbursement for the purchase of five KC-390 aircraft, a flight simulator, and for the contracts for their logistics support», but there is no reference to the contract with Elbit Systems and Sigint-Elisra, nor was it found in the reports published in the Portuguese media.

Elbit Systems, meanwhile, was less discreet, announcing the fact in a statement of 25 August [3], cited by specialized international media, particularly Brazilian — but apparently unknown to the Portuguese press.

Worse still, according to Edgar Maimon, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra, the Portuguese Air Force is «is a long-standing strategic partner of Elbit Systems».

Democratic Portugal has as its founding element the overthrow by the Armed Forces of the odious colonial-fascist regime that oppressed our people and the peoples of the Portuguese colonies. It is unacceptable for the Portuguese state and its armed forces to now collaborate with Israel's brutal colonial repression against the Palestinian people, victim of countless violations of the most fundamental human rights and denied their legitimate national rights.

MPPM demands full clarification from the Portuguese government on this matter. In themselves, the facts referred to above constitute an intolerable collaboration of the Portuguese State with a company deeply involved in the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel. Such collaboration, as well as any form of military and security cooperation with Israel, a country that has been repeatedly condemned in successive UN resolutions, must cease immediately.

MPPM reiterates that Portugal must rule its international relations by the respect of the UN Charter and International Law, and above all by strict compliance with the principle of condemnation of «colonialism and any other forms of aggression, domination and exploitation in the relations between peoples», as stated in Article 7 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

November 5, 2019
The MPPM National Directorate


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