World News

Amid Gaza Conflict, India Sends Rockets and Explosives to Israel, Documents Show

As New Delhi tries to maintain a delicate diplomatic balance, documents and company statements suggest that Israel is receiving Indian weapons for its war on Gaza. Early on May 15, the cargo ship Borkum was spotted off the Spanish coast near Cartagena, sparking protests from locals who suspected it carried weapons for Israel. Leftist European Parliament members urged Spanish President Pedro Sánchez to prevent the ship from docking, fearing it carried arms to Israel, which they accused of genocide against Palestinians. However, the Borkum bypassed Spain and headed to the Slovenian port of Koper, confirming suspicions about its cargo.

According to documents obtained by Al Jazeera, the Borkum carried explosives loaded in India, bound for Israel’s port of Ashdod, close to Gaza. The cargo included 20 tonnes of rocket engines, 12.5 tonnes of rockets with explosive charges, and other explosive substances. Despite denials from the ship’s management company, evidence suggests that weapons from India were indeed being transported to Israel.

Another cargo ship, the Marianne Danica, also left India’s Chennai port carrying 27 tonnes of explosives destined for Israel. The ship was denied entry to Spain’s Cartagena port on May 21 due to its military cargo. These events highlight the ongoing transfer of Indian-made weapons to Israel, even amid the Gaza conflict. Analysts point out that India’s lack of transparency helps these arms transfers go unnoticed.

The collaboration between India and Israel extends beyond rockets. Indian company Premier Explosives Limited has been exporting rocket motors to Israel, and a joint venture between Adani Defence & Aerospace and Israel’s Elbit Systems produces drones in India. These drones, used for surveillance and potentially combat, are part of India’s growing defense ties with Israel.

India’s relationship with Israel has evolved over decades. While maintaining a pro-Palestinian stance in the past, India has increasingly collaborated with Israel on defense technology and arms production. This partnership has been driven by strategic needs, particularly along India’s borders with Pakistan and China.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fostered closer ties with Israel since his election in 2014, becoming the first Indian prime minister to visit the country. This strategic partnership includes cooperation in space and technology. However, India’s balancing act continues as it seeks to maintain good relations with both Israel and the broader Middle East.

India’s recent political changes, including the BJP’s loss of a majority in parliament, may influence its foreign policy. The country will likely continue to navigate its complex relationships in the Middle East while balancing its strategic interests and diplomatic commitments.

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