Israel supplied arms to Georgia, including missiles and drones as well as training Georgian troops, until 2008 when the Ministry of Defense stopped issuing permits to trade arms with Georgia. This was apparently to avoid antagonising Russia as tensions between Russia and Georgia increased culminating in the South Ossetia war in 2008. Since then Georgia has sought to restart sales but apparently without success.
Israel – Georgia Relations
Georgia established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992 shortly after gaining independence.
The non-governmental Israel-Georgia Chamber of Commerce was established in 1996 to support the growth of bilateral commercial, tourism and cultural relations.Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business
In 2010, Israel and Georgia signed bilateral agreements in the sphere of tourism and air traffic.Israel-loving Georgian economy minister promises as tourist In October 2010, Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Vera Kobalia visited Israel.https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3971971,00.html
Israel has engaged in extensive military cooperation with Georgia. Israel sold Georgia armored vehicles and small arms, and Israeli special forces and private contractors have trained Georgian troops. Israel sold Georgia its fleet of UAVs, LAR-160 rocket launchers, anti-tank mines, and cluster bombs.
In 2008 Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs showed rhetorical support for Georgia’s claims over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the South Ossetian War against Russia, stating it “recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia”.Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the 7th anniversary of the August 2008 War Georgia’s Relations with Israel and the US In spite of this statement, Israel simultaneously suspended arms sales to Georgia in fear of angering Russia.How Israel Trained and Equipped Georgia’s Army Jewish Georgian minister Temur Yakobashvili expressed feelings of betrayal and popular demonstrations in Tel Aviv called on Israel to increase arms sales to Georgia.Georgian Minister: Israel Has Sold Us Out In 2012 there were demonstrations in Tbilisi in support of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Individuals like former Minister Roni Milo and his brother Shlomo, former director-general of the Military Industries, Brigadier-General (Res.) Gal Hirsch and Major-General (Res.) Yisrael Ziv. facilitated business between Georgia and Israeli companies like Elbit. According to the report, Israel sold to Georgia remote-piloted vehicles, automatic turrets, anti-aircraft systems, communication systems, shells and rockets with the help of Milo.War in Georgia: The Israeli connection
In 2008 Israeli Defense Ministry stopped authorizing permits to private Israeli arms companies for trade with Georgia. This has been interpreted as an attempt not to provoke Russia into increasing its arms sales to Israel’s enemies like Syria and Iran in retaliation for arming Georgia.What Israel Lost in the Georgia War
In 2010 Elbit sued Georgia for failure to pay the full amount for arms delivered in 2007, and successfully had the items returned as well as a $35m settlement.Elbit gets $35 mln in settlement with Georgia
In June 2013, a large delegation from Georgia arrived in Israel, including PM Bidzina Ivanishvili and defense minister Irakli Alasania, with the intention of renewing arms deals with Israel and acquiring defensive weapons such as drones and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. Apparently, that deal did not come to fruition.Georgia’s Relations with Israel and the US
2018: Elbit subsidiary Cyclone set up a factory in Tbilisi for making airplane parts, predominantly for US models like Boeing aircrafts.
2021: In May 2021, an agreement was signed between the Georgian Ministry of Defense, the Israeli company CAA and the American company Blue Stone, to open a plant that will suplly CAA products to the Georgian market. The Georgian minister announced that they signed an agreement to start producing Israeli M4 rifles at a local factory. CAA denied this announcement.Start of production of Israeli assault rifles in Georgia delayed
Private Israeli company Defensive Shield was training Georgian special operations and urban warfare troops prior to 2008.New Israel Police Chief’s Security Company Trained Armies Around the World How Israel Trained and Equipped Georgia’s Army
In 2018 the Defense Ministers of Israel and Georgia signed agreements on counterterrorism and cybersecurity cooperation, during a visit of Israel’s Defense Minister in Georgia.Liberman visits Georgia, signs defense cooperation agreements/
In 2018 an application for Supply and Delivery of Cellebrite UFED Software-based Mobile Forensic Solution for the national project “Sustaining Border Management and Migration Governance in Georgia” was filed in the International Organization for Migration.Georgia Supply and Delivery of Cellebrite UFED Software-based Mobile Forensic Solution
In 2021, the Internet Development Initiative (IDI), in cooperation with the Israeli Embassy in Georgia organized an event on cybersecurity in Georgia. Among others they also implemented the Israel-Georgia School of Digital Culture and organized B2B meetings between Israeli and Georgian IT companies.Making Cybersecurity Education a Priority – IDI and the Embassy of Israel Work to Raise Awareness/
Usage of Israeli Arms
In 2008 a series of Georgian Hermes-450 spy drones were shot down by Russia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia allegedly flying in Abkhazian airspace.Georgian rebels say they shoot down a Georgian drone Russia ‘shot down Georgia drone’
SPYDER SAM system possibly used in the war with Russia.Georgia’s Air Defense in the War with South Ossetia THE AUGUST WAR, TEN YEARS ON: A RETROSPECTIVE ON THE RUSSO-GEORGIAN WAR/
Human Rights Violations
In 2019 police used excessive force including tear gas and rubber bullets in Tbilisi to disperse protests over electoral reform.HRW World Report : Georgia About 240 people were injured, including up to 40 journalists, and over 100 were detained.Amnesty – Georgia Report 2021 There have been calls for judicial reform as well on account of suspicion over
Break away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are run by de facto local authorities and Russian forces who have prevented international independent monitors to enter, including unarmed civilian monitoring mission of the European Union (EUMM). They have also restricted freedom of movement with physical barriers and checkpoints denying some residents access to medical care and family visits.
There have been cases of impunity for state actors, for example the investigation into the killing of 18-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili in 2017 by the State Security Service forces was not completed, nor the investigation into the 2017 abduction of Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afghan Mukhtarli, allegedly by Georgian officers.Amnesty – Georgia Report 2021
With regards to media freedom, there have been reports of politically motivated prosecution of government critics, for example against businessman Mamuka Khazaradze in 2018, and political commentator Nika Gvaramia in 2019.
Georgia prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals but fails to protect them. In 2019 police refused to give protection to the Pride parade despite threats of counter protests and violence against the community.