SAFT complicit in Gaza massacre

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Corporate Watch has identified SAFT, a battery manufacturer as a company that profited off of last year’s massacre in Gaza.

Corporate Watch says photos of last year’s massacre in Gaza “show that a military battery pack manufactured in the US by French company SAFT was discarded in the village of Khuza’a in the southern Gaza Strip after one of the worst massacres of the attack.”

SAFT produces batteries used in the aviation, transport (tram and metro), oil and gas and telecommunications industries as well as for military use. The battery pack photographed in Khuza’a was given to the IDF by the United States, where SAFT has a significant presence.

Corporate Watch says as a part of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, activists have a responsibility “to target companies involved in supplying equipment used by the Israeli military. Activists should consider campaigning for SAFT’s non-military contractors to drop their contracts with SAFT over its complicity in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.”

The photograph of the SAFT equipment in question comes from the IDF attack on the village of Khuza’a.

Mondoweiss reports that “Khuza’a is near Gaza’s border with Israel, and Israeli forces battled Palestinian fighters there. By many accounts from Palestinians and journalists, the village suffered from indiscriminate shelling and firing, leading to the deaths of many Palestinian civilians. There are also reports that Israeli soldiers shot unarmed civilians at point-blank range.” Corporate Watch says during this attack, “Israeli forces entered the village of Khuza’a, firing bullets and artillery shells at people trying to flee. Ambulance crews that had negotiated with the Israeli forces to rescue the wounded were also fired on. A missile was fired at a local clinic where people were attempting to obtain emergency treatment.” The New York Times also mentions “allegations that troops fatally shot a man holding a white flag in Khuza’a and used his relatives as human shields.”

Corporate Watch says SAFT is complicit in this, because they supplied equipment to the perpetrators and profited off of their operations. Given that SAFT also has investments in other large corporations, those corporations also share an indirect complicity, for participating in an economic exchange that fueled egregious violations of human rights.

SAFT got involved in the massacre through the US military support program, with Corporate Watch noting that “The battery found in the house in Khuza’a had, written on it in English and Hebrew, ‘SAFT AMERICA INC standard issue organic lithium battery, date of manufacture Feb. 2013.’”