A U.S. based multinational manufacturer and provider of civil and military engineering machinery. Caterpillar is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. The company operates in three sectors: resource industries, construction industries and power systems.
The company's machines were used for the demolition of Palestinian houses in the occupied Palestinian territories, the construction of settlements, the Separation Wall and settlement infrastructure on Palestinian land, for creating roadblocks, dispersing demonstrations and as weapons.
Caterpillar is a long-standing supplier of the Israeli army and provides it with a variety of heavy engineering machinery, including different wheel loaders, armored excavators, mini loaders and several models from the D9 armored bulldozer series (D9R, D9N and D9L). D9s were used for operational tasks such as large-scale house demolitions in Gaza, land-clearing missions in Palestinian towns and arresting or killing Palestinian suspects using the pressure cooker procedure.
The most famous heavy engineering machine used by the Israeli army is the Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer. This track-type tractor, weighing more than 60 tons, is sold by Caterpillar directly to the Israeli army through the United States Foreign Military Sales program, separately from its regular supply chain to the general Israeli market. The company's sole representative in the country, Israel Tractors and Equipment (I.T.E, part of Zoko Enterprises), and Ramta, a division of the government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), are responsible for retrofitting the tools. Zoko Enterprises and the Ramta Division equip the D9s with a ballistic armor suit. The standard configuration includes weapon mounts, storage compartments, a spotlight and projector lamps and communication equipment. The D9's shield also includes a protection system against anti-tank weapons and as of 2006 an additional slat armor.
The collaboration between Zoko Enterprises and the Ramta Division also produced an unmanned, remote-controlled version of the armored D9T, nicknamed Pooh HaDov (Winnie-the-Pooh). The development of this vehicle took place in Ramta's factory in Beersheba and was sponsored and supervised by the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure (Mafat), a joint administrative body of the Ministry of Defense and the army. An earlier unmanned version, the so-called Thunder of Dawn, based on the Caterpillar D9N model and developed by Ramta alone, was operational during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.
Today, the Engineering Corps holds and operates hundreds of Caterpillar D9 bulldozers in three models: D9R, D9N and D9L, including the unmanned Thunder of Dawn. Their importance to Israeli military tactics is rising steadily.
Other Caterpillar Military Engineering Tools
Other than the D9, Caterpillar supplies a variety of heavy engineering machinery to the Israeli army: various wheel loaders; 225, 245 and 330 armored excavators; and the Front Runner – a remote controlled mini loader built on the chassis of a Caterpillar MTL 257B (also known as the MiniCat). The Front Runner is another product of the fruitful collaboration between Zoko Enterprises and the Ramta Division. According to the Israeli Engineering Corps, the armored Caterpillar excavators took part in house demolitions, in the destruction of the Mukataa in Ramallah in 2002 and in the Israeli army's 2006 raid on the Palestinian prison in Jericho. The Front Runner, which was developed for urban warfare, can also operate in the narrow alleys of Palestinian refugee camps.
The local distributor of Caterpillar equipment to the Israeli army, Zoko Enterprises, also provides the maintenance, spare parts and storage services for the machinery. Moreover, Zoko's employees function not only as civilian maintenance workers, but also as potential reserve soldiers. In 2009, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported about a planned contract between the army and the company, which would enable the immediate drafting of Zoko's civilian staff, in order to allow them full access to the tools on the battlefield. No information was found confirming the final signing of such a contract.
Caterpillar's engineering machinery was also used by civilian companies for the construction of a large number of settlements in the OPT, including Revava, Maskiot, Oranit, Carmel, Elkana and Beitar Illit in the West Bank and the Har Homa settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Caterpillar machinery was also used in various projects serving the settlements, such as the Ariel West and Barkan industrial zones, the Tel-Aviv-Jerusalem high speed railway and the headquarters of the Judea and Samaria District of the Israel Police, located in the E1 area. The models used for these tasks are: 330B, 330BL and 936.
The construction of the Separation Wall and checkpoints was also executed using Caterpillar heavy machinery. The company's loaders and excavators were documented during works on the land of the Palestinian villages of Mas'ha, Al-Walaja, Qalandiya, Jayous, Ras al-Tira, Khirbet Jbara and Wadi a-Rasha and during the construction of the Anabta and Qalandiya checkpoints The models used for these tasks are: 330C, 330CL, 345B, 345D, 936 and D10N.
Wheel loaders manufactured by the company were used by the Israeli army for creating roadblocks or for demolishing access roads leading to Palestinian villages in the area of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Aqabah and various locations around the South Hebron Hills. The roadblocks were created using the 938G wheel loader and military loaders.
In addition, Caterpillar track excavators and wheel loaders were used for the demolition of Palestinian houses. The company's tools participated in demolitions in the Palestinian neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Beit Hanina and Tsur Baher in East Jerusalem and in the South Hebron Hills area.
As of the past several years, Caterpillar military wheel loaders are also used as a crowd control weapon in Kafr Qaddum, during the weekly demonstrations in the village.
In August 2016, Who Profits sent an information request to the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) querying whether the MOD or the Israeli Army had any direct contracts with Caterpillar or indirectly with Zoko enterprises, its local distributor, for the import of Caterpillar's heavy machinery.
On the 15th of August, Who Profits received the response of the MOD, which was negative to both requests, stating that no contracts were signed with Caterpillar and/or Zoko enterprises. In this respect, a follow up research was conducted and Who Profits has yet to obtain any evidence to the contrary.
Major shareholders: State Street Corporation (9.91%); Vanguard Group, Inc. (5.70%); Capital World Investors (4.19%); State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (3.15%); BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. (2.64%); FMR LLC (Fidelity Investments) (1.95%); Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (1.83%); and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (1.80%).
CEO and Chairperson: Douglas R. Oberhelman.
Exclusive representative in Israel: Zoko Enterprises
Additional brand names include: Anchor Coupling, AsiaTrak, FG Wilson, Halco Rock Tools, Hindustan, MaK, MWM, Olympian, Perkins, Progress Rail (including Electro-Motive Diesel, or EMD), SEM, Solar Turbines, Turbomach, Turner Powertrain Systems, Unit Rig and Caterpillar (Zhengzhou) (formerly Zhengzhou Siwei).
Caterpillar distributes its products through an international network of representatives, 130 of which are located outside the United States, serving 182 countries.
100 North East Adams St.
Peoria, Illinois 61629
Tel: 1 (309) 675-1000
Activists climb on Caterpiller Bulldozers - Um Salamuna - Mar 2007
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