Australia and Israel established strong economic and military relations. Beside of bilateral agreements and advanced cooperation on national security, defense and cyber security, Israel exported to Australia army equipment, missiles, battle management systems, air and ground vehicles and cyber-security systems and training.
Israel – Australia Relations
Australia and Israel established bilateral relations in 1949.
In 2017-2018, total merchandise trade between Australia and Israel was worth over $1 billion, and Israel’s investment in Australia in 2017 was $301 million.Times of Israel In 2018, Israel was Australia’s 41st largest merchandise trading partner and 50th largest export market. In 2018 imports from Israel were worth $998 million.DFAT
In 2016 Israel and Australia signed an Air Service Agreement and in 2019 tax treaty to prevent double taxation and tax avoidance.
In 2017 the Israeli company Airobotics became Australia’s first and only Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approved operator of automated multi-rotor drones for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, with no aircrew needed at the client site. In 2017 Airobotics announced its first customer in Australia, the mining company South32. Jwire
Israel – Australia Military Relations:
Since 2017 Australia and Israel have expanded cooperation on national security, defense and cyber security. Israeli and Australian defense officials had annual strategic talks in 2018 Ministry of Defense IL and 2019. In 2019 Australia opened an Australian Trade and Defense Office in West Jerusalem, that was planned to facilitate trade, investment and defense industry partnerships.DFAT Times of Israel/
There are many examples for arms deals in the last 2010s. The Israeli company Plasan is partnering with Thales Australia to deliver a fully protected body kit for the 1,100 Hawkei vehicles to be provided to the ADF on a contract spread over five years. Israel’s Elbit Systems is the prime systems integrator for the battle management system of the Australian Army and provides thermal weapon sights. The Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft are currently fitted with an ESM system known as ALR-2001 from Elta (a division of Israel Aircraft Industries). Between 2009-2017 the Australian Air Force leased 10 Heron drones from Israel for use in Afghanistan.Sipri
Elbit Elbit Systems Australia and IAI aaus run subsidiary companies in Australia. Elbit runs a CYBERBIT security training range for the department of Defense of Australia since 2018.Ministry of Defense Australia Rafael delivers defense innovations to Australia through Varley Rafael Australia (VRA) — a joint venture between The Varley Group, Australia’s oldest defense enterprise, and RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems.Rafael to participate in Land Forces 2022
In 2017 Israel and Australia agreed on training that Australian police, paramedics, firefighters, Defense personnel and officers from transport security and the department of immigration and border protection will have in Israel by Israeli experts. The Australian forces planned to learn new methods of protecting buildings, carrying out surveillance and using biometrics.SBS
In 2020, IAI and Australian mining company BIS announced the launch of a new joint venture partnership – “Auto-mate” – a new company that will provide autonomous systems for mining operations.IAI official website
In May 2022 more than 300 personnel from four countries, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, participated in the Autonomous Warrior 2022 (AW22) exercise, were among others USVs (Seagull) and UAVs (Thor) of Elbit Systems were operated.Naval News
In 2022 it was reported that Elbit Systems and Hanwha Defense have confirmed their cooperation on the Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) that is manufactured for the Australian army.Australian Defense – Hanwah and Elbit confirm coop
Australia, along with 25 other nations including Israel, is taking part in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, the world’s largest maritime exercise hosted by the US Third Fleet off the coast of Hawaii and Southern California. Jpost israel news
In December 2022 an Australian delegation representing defence industry visited Elbit Systems.Elbit Systems hosts Aussie SME delegation in Israel
The Australian International Airshow – 2017: IAI
Avalon (Australian International Aerospace and Defence Exposition) 2017 | Elbit, IAI participated. 2019: Elbit, IAI, Rafael participated.
Land Forces International Exhibition – 2021: IAI, Elbit Systems, Rafael.Israeli companies participating in land forces expo in Australia | 2022: RafaelRafael to participate in Land Forces 2022
Cyber Security & Facial Recognition Technologies
ABT Security Systems who supply integrated security systems for most corporate and industry sectors across Australia, announced in 2019 a strategic partnership with the Israeli company Anyvision, that produces facial recognition technologies.Abt Security Systems
Usage of Israeli Arms
Battle Management System on Canberra Class Ships – in use by Royal Australian Navy since 2015.
ALR 2001 – The system is also fitted on the RAAF’s E-7A Wedgetail aircraft.
Litening III – In use on F/A-18 combat aircraft by Royal Australian Air Force since 2007. In March 2015, six F/A-18As from No. 75 Squadron were deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Okra, that was an Australian military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).News Australia – Raaf mission against ISIS News Australia – Confirmed Australian Air Strike killed multiple targets
Heron UAV – used by Royal Australian Air Force. Was part of No. 5 Flight since 2010 at RAAF Base Amberley. Operated in Kandahar, Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper till 2014. Was in use of the RAAF till 2017. Rusinsw
IIIM, COTS – in use by Australian Federal Police since 2013.
Skylark UAV – was in use by the Royal Australian Air Force.
Pegasus – ChannelNews reported that it was used by Australian security agencies and the Australian Federal Police who looked to prosecute journalists for exposing corruption among Government agencies.Channel News
UFED – In use by Royal Papa New Guinea Police One PNG Cellebrite RPNGP, a search in the Austlii site of Australian court judgements reveals that Cellebrite was used in dozens of cases.AUSTLII An Australian law firm reported in January 2022 that Police routinely use the data extraction technology Cellebrite to obtain data from mobile phones for their investigations.StackLaw
Human Rights Violations
In July 2013, Australia introduced offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers. In 2019 and 2020 the government maintained its stance that no one who arrives by boat will be resettled in Australia. Between 2013-2019 Australia has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru. In 2019, about 600 refugees and asylum seekers remained there. At least 12 refugees and asylum seekers have died in Australia’s offshore processing system in 2019.HRW HRW country report
Another ongoing human rights issue in Australia is the legacy of mistreatment of indigenous Australians. They are significantly over-represented in the criminal justice system, often for minor offenses like unpaid fines. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise 28 percent of Australia’s adult prison population, but just 3 percent of the national population. Abs Gov Aus HRW country report
Across Australia, around 600 children under the age of 14 are imprisoned each year, according to the Human Rights Law Centre. Australia states and territories set the age of criminal responsibility at 10.Hrw World Report
Broadly drafted national security laws have been used against lawyers, journalists, and whistleblowers. In 2019 police raided a home of a journalist and the office of ABC’s headquarter in Sidney over stories alleging abuses by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
In December 2018 the Australian parliament rushed through legislation undermining encryption and cybersecurity, allowing law enforcement and security agencies to order technology companies, and individuals, to facilitate access to encrypted data and devices.
Australia exports military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, despite concerns about alleged war crimes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. There is little transparency about the types or quantities of equipment sold or the end-user.
An annual report by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force said 55 separate incidents were being investigated as part of a years-long probe into allegations Australian soldiers committed war crimes while serving in Afghanistan.Aljazeera The alleged war crimes, including the killing of civilians and prisoners, were committed by Australian special forces. Elite Australian commandos were deployed alongside US and allied forces in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks. More than 26,000 Australian personnel have served in Afghanistan since the war began in October 2001.The Diplomat Between 2001-2019 more than 150,000 Afghans, including around 50,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan.
In 2019 Australian Defense Force officials admitted that 18 civilians were killed in an airstrike involving Australian jets in Mosul, Iraq. Australia has announced involvement in three separate allegations where civilians were among the death toll from airstrikes, during Operation Okra in Iraq, in 2017.The Guardian