France cancels purchase of Israeli drones

After BDS France petition against purchase of Israeli-developed Watchkeeper drone, French gov't goes with another company.

Cynthia Blank ,

IDF drone (illustration)
IDF drone (illustration)
Flash 90

The French government has decided against purchasing an Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). 

The Watchkeeper drone was created as part of a joint venture between Israel's biggest arms developer Elbit System and the UK subsidiary of France's Thales Group. 

Defense News reported that “Watchkeeper was widely expected to be selected,” but instead the French defense ministry chose the Patroller drone made by domestic conglomerate Sagem.

France's decision is apparently a capitulation to BDS France, who circulated a petition against the transaction garnering 8,000 signatures.

The anti-Israel group demanded France refrain from purchasing the Watchkeeper drones as they were used by the "Israeli army to kill civilians in Gaza."

“If the choice of Sagem does not represent total independence from Israel, dumping the Thales-Elbit drone is a success for the BDS campaign,” BDS France said.

Neither the French government nor either of the two arms companies responded to Defense News' requests for comment. 


 




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