Head of the Security Council Meir Ben Shabbat and members of his delegation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2019.
June 2, 201
Ever since the Balakot airstrikes there is a mystery surrounding top secret India-Israel weapons deals including the performance of the Israeli weapons systems itself. Add to this the loss of classified Arms documents at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport by top Israeli Security delegation en route to India and the suspicious nature in which it were found by a waiter.
Mystery of Top Secret India-Israel Weapons Deals
A delegation of Israel’s National Security Council headed by National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat lost classified documents on weapon deals en route to India. The documents were left at an Israeli restaurant and were recovered by chance after which a probe was carried out by the council.
In January, Ben Shabbat travelled with several members of the council to India. In those meetings, Ben Shabbat discussed different weapon deals between the two countries. According to media reports, Israel wishes to sell India several advanced weapons manufactured by defense industries, such as spy planes, unmanned aircraft, anti-tank missiles, cannons and radar systems.
Ahead of the trip, Ben Shabbat’s aide printed several documents on the matter that included classified information. Prior to boarding the plane, Ben Shabbat and his team dined at a restaurant and then, according to the investigation, the aide who printed the documents left them there.
Although the loss of these documents could well be a mere accident, the curious nature in which they were found and returned raises many alarms. As Haaretz reported:
After the delegation departed, a waiter at the restaurant found the documents. He leafed through them, realized they were related to India and contacted a friend of his whose mother works for the Israeli Embassy in India. The friend flew to India and gave her mother the documents; the mother passed them on the security officer of the embassy, who reported the incident.
Following this chain of events and at the directive of council chair Yoav Horowitz, the council launched a probe into the incident. The probe found that no dangerous entities were exposed to the contents of the documents. Ben Shabbat’s aide was accused of losing the documents, and he was placed under warning. The council noted that the probe led them to draw conclusions regarding the retention of classified documents.
The Prime Minister’s Office stated in response to the report: “The incident was taken care of immediately, a security investigation was carried out and lessons were learned.” Although, the actual reason for the suspicious chain of events and the miraculous loss and found of top-secret documents was never satisfactorily explained.
The incident begs more attention now that Israeli weapons systems are mired with not less than three controversies since the Balakot airstrikes.
The most intriguing is the case of the shootdown of Mi-17 V-5 helicopter. When the chopper was hit a certain section of journalists claimed it was due to technical snag, and the same was reported by mainstream media. This continued until the Court of Inquiry (CoI) proved them wrong. The military chopper was hit by Israeli Spyder short-range surface-to-air missile and did not go down due to technical snag.
The cover-up didn’t just stop there. After the CoI was launched the Black Box of the helicopter mysteriously went missing. Top Indian Airforce Force officials officials said that the Black Box of Mi-17 was stolen by the villagers while the entire village interviewed by various journalists claim otherwise – that the IAF officials itself took the box. As it stands today, the Black Box that could unravel the mystery still remain missing.
(Excerpt from GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance. Get your copy from here.)
The role of Israeli weapons has also come under question in two other cases. One where it is found that the indigenous Made-in-India smart SAAW missiles of the DRDO were rejected to replace the Israeli made missiles for the Balakot airstrikes. The other case in which the IAF being unable to provide video proof of Balakot airstrikes because the Israeli made Crystal Maze missile which could provide live video feed of the weapons hitting their targets failed to launch due to heavy cloud cover which compromised the pilots’ line of sight.
Now with the current incident of top-secret India-Israel arms deals documents being mysteriously lost and suspiciously found, the controversies around Israeli military weapons just keep adding up.
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