Czech Republic

Arms Sold:

Additional Arms:
Litening, Cybergym Arena

Companies:

Additional Companies:
Bird Aerosystems, Cybergym

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Czech Republic

Introduction

Israel and the Czech Republic keep close economic, diplomatic and security relations. Israel exported to the Czech Republic between 2009-2019 missiles, drones, and reconnaissance systems including upgrades of missile protection systems and combat jets.[1]Stockholm International Peace Research Institute In 2017 the Czech Republic announced they plan to spend some $7.1 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the country’s armed forces.[2]Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise In 2019 Israel and the Czech Republic made a $125m-deal for the supply of eight “Iron Dome” radars.

Israel – Czech Republic Relations

Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Israel were renewed after the Velvet Revolution of 1989.[3]Relations between Israel and the Czech Republic: From Sentiment to Pragmatism The Czech Republic has an embassy in Tel Aviv and 3 honorary consulates (Haifa, Jerusalem, Ramat Gan). Israel has an embassy in Prague. Both countries are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean.[4]The Union for the Mediterranean

Israel is the Czech Republic’s sixth largest export market outside of the EU, and since 1993 trade between the two countries has risen almost consistently crossing the $1 billion mark in imports to Israel in 2017.[5]Relations between Israel and the Czech Republic: From Sentiment to Pragmatism [6]Czech-Israel cooperation saving lives and making money In 2010 the Israel-Czech Republic Chamber of Commerce was established.[7]Israel – Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the Czech Republic in 2011 and 2013. Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka visited Israel in 2014. Netanyahu and Sobotka signed joint declerations in fields of international affairs, defense, bilateral trade investment, finance, economic cooperation, research & development, cybersecurity and technological research.[8]Members of the Governments of the Czech Republic and the State of Israel met in Jerusalem In 2016 another meeting of the two prime ministers was held while Sobotka attended Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations on Trade, Security and Research & Development in Jerusalem. [9]Joint Statement Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations [10]Prime Minister Sobotka Attended Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations on Trade, Security, and Research and Development/

Israel-Czech government summits took place in Prague and Jerusalem in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2017 during a meeting with leaders of central European countries in Budapest, Netanyahu urged the leaders of Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland to close their borders to refugees from Africa and the Arab world and to renew the EU-Israel Association Agreement and expand European connection with Israeli Innovation.[11]In hot mic comments, Netanyahu lashes EU’s ‘crazy’ policy on Israel Netanyahu also expressed clear backing for the support of border fences to guard the four countries from the entrance of refugees from the Middle East.[12]In hot mic comments, Netanyahu lashes EU’s ‘crazy’ policy on Israel

Military Relations

In 2009, Czech and Israeli defense ministers signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim to strengthen the cooperation of defense forces. The document has created a framework for sharing security information, cooperation in research projects in armament and training of both militaries in the other country’s territory.[13]Czech Republic discusses joint military training with Israel

Israel exported to the Czech Republic between 2009-2019 missiles, drones, and Reconnaissance systems including upgrades of missile protection systems and combat jets.[14]Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

In 2014 ELTA, a subsidiary of IAI, signed an agreement for joint development and production of radar and other systems with the Czech company RETIA.[15]ELTA to Cooperate with Czech Company

In 2016 Czech and Israeli ministries of defense established joint working groups aimed at discussing and preparing joint projects in areas of defense industry and the teaming of scientists, arms companies and militaries in joint collaborations. A Memorandum of Understanding between National Security Authority of the Czech Republic and the Israeli National Cyber Security Authority was signed.[16]Joint Statement Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations

In 2017 Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said that Prague would spend some $7.1 billion over the next 10 years to upgrade the country’s armed forces.[17]Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise

In 2019 Israel and the Czech Republic made a $125m-deal for the supply of eight “Iron Dome” radars by IAI over the course of three years between 2021-2023.[18]Israel to sell Iron Dome radars to Czech Republic In 2020 the Czech Republic inked a deal to buy four SPYDER air defense systems from Rafael. A sale worth around $430 million.[19]Czech Republic inks deal with Israel to buy air defense system

Joint exercises

In late 2008, Israel was the only country that agreed to help train Czech helicopter pilots and crews in desert conditions for their upcoming mission in Afghanistan. The training was conducted in the Negev Desert.[20]The Czech Republic and Israel: A Unique Friendship [21]ČESKÉ VRTULNÍKY NAD NEGEVSKOU POUŠTÍ

In 2013 Czech and Israeli special forces held a joint exercise together.[22]Czech Republic discusses joint military training with Israel In 2017 Israeli and Czech military units conducted a joint drill in Israel. The Israeli military unit ‘Duvdevan’ and Czech 601st Special Forces Group participated in a two-week-long military exercise in the Negev Desert in Israel, training urban warfare, including techniques for breaking into structures.[23]Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise In 2019 another joint exercise of the Czech 601st and Israeli military forces was conducted in Israel. The exercise was in the infantry training school (Bislach) in the south of Israel and included individual fire training, closed structure training and CQB and underground tunnel training.[24]israeli army idf czech republic army joint training/ [25]IDF official youtube page : Duvdevan fighters train with Czech Army

Cyber Security

In 2015 Israeli company Cybergym announced the first European Cybergym arena for counter cyber attack training to be established in the Czech Republic.[26]Prague picked as first expansion site for Israeli anti-hacking experts

In 2019 a Czech cyber security delegation, that was consisted of representatives of Czech universities and of experts from the Czech Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Cyber and Security Information Agency, visited Israel. They met with researchers from cyber security research centers of Israeli universities, the Cyberbit company, and Israeli National CERT.[27]Czech Cyber Security delegation to Israel was a great success

In 2020 Israeli media reported that the Israel national Cyber Security Authority helped the Czech Republic do defend themselves against hacker attacks on the Czech health system.[28]Israel helped the Czech Republic do defend themselves against hacker attacks

Usage of Israeli Arms

The Czech 601st Special Forces Group – Soldiers in the 601st Special Forces unit have been deployed on several foreign missions, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm in 1990, and Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004.[29]Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise

BIRD’s AMPS – are installed on Mi-17 helicopters, have been deployed in a number of dangerous and complicated conflict zones including Afghanistan.[30]BIRD Aerosystems to enhance missile protection systems of Czech Air Force helicopters

Litening-4I Systems – installed on Gripen combat aircrafts, that are part of the NATO Integrated Air Defence System. Gripens flew close to 30,000 flight hours, and successfully participated in several NATO air policing missions and international exercises including a four-month long mission to protect the Baltic airspace of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania in 2019.[31]The Czech Air Force Marks 15 Years of Gripen Operations

Aero L-159 – attacking combat aircraft and training jet in use by Czech Air Force

Spike MR/LR – installed on Pandur-2 IFVs, used by the Army of the Czech Republic

Human Rights Violations

 Migrants and Refugees

In 2015 the UN Human Rights chief criticized Czech Republic’s systematic practice of detaining migrants for up to 90 days under harsh conditions such as poor sanitary conditions and lack of medical and legal assistance.[32]UN accuses Czech Republic of human rights abuses against migrants Amnesty reports that asylum seekers, including children continued to be detained by the Czech Republic also in 2019. The government was resistant to meaningfully participate in the EU’s policy of resettlement and relocation of refugees against the backdrop of anti-migrant and anti-refugee protests and rhetoric by politicians in 2015-2016.[33]Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/

Discrimination of the Roma Community

In 2019 Romani children were still over-represented in schools and classes for pupils with mild mental disabilities and segregated in Roma-only schools. In 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) criticized the discrimination of Roma in access to economic, social and cultural rights, as well as racist rhetoric of politicians, including mayors and members of Parliament and the government. The Committee also highlighted the prevalence of racially motived attacks targeting Roma, Jews, migrants and minority rights activists.[34]Committee on Racial Discrimination urges Czechia to adopt special measures to eliminate historic and deep-rooted discrimination of Roma [35]Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/

Arms Trade

The Czech Republic transfers arms to the Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirate-led coalition. There is a substantial risk of them being used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the Yemen conflict.[36]Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/

References
1 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
2 Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise
3 Relations between Israel and the Czech Republic: From Sentiment to Pragmatism
4 The Union for the Mediterranean
5 Relations between Israel and the Czech Republic: From Sentiment to Pragmatism
6 Czech-Israel cooperation saving lives and making money
7 Israel – Czech Chamber of Commerce and Industry
8 Members of the Governments of the Czech Republic and the State of Israel met in Jerusalem
9 Joint Statement Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations
10 Prime Minister Sobotka Attended Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations on Trade, Security, and Research and Development/
11 In hot mic comments, Netanyahu lashes EU’s ‘crazy’ policy on Israel
12 In hot mic comments, Netanyahu lashes EU’s ‘crazy’ policy on Israel
13 Czech Republic discusses joint military training with Israel
14 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
15 ELTA to Cooperate with Czech Company
16 Joint Statement Czech-Israeli Intergovernmental Consultations
17 Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise
18 Israel to sell Iron Dome radars to Czech Republic
19 Czech Republic inks deal with Israel to buy air defense system
20 The Czech Republic and Israel: A Unique Friendship
21 ČESKÉ VRTULNÍKY NAD NEGEVSKOU POUŠTÍ
22 Czech Republic discusses joint military training with Israel
23 Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise
24 israeli army idf czech republic army joint training/
25 IDF official youtube page : Duvdevan fighters train with Czech Army
26 Prague picked as first expansion site for Israeli anti-hacking experts
27 Czech Cyber Security delegation to Israel was a great success
28 Israel helped the Czech Republic do defend themselves against hacker attacks
29 Israeli, Czech special forces complete joint urban-warfare exercise
30 BIRD Aerosystems to enhance missile protection systems of Czech Air Force helicopters
31 The Czech Air Force Marks 15 Years of Gripen Operations
32 UN accuses Czech Republic of human rights abuses against migrants
33 Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/
34 Committee on Racial Discrimination urges Czechia to adopt special measures to eliminate historic and deep-rooted discrimination of Roma
35 Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/
36 Amnesty 2021 Report – Czech Republic/