HEWLETT PACKARD (HP) AND THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION Oct 2016
In 2015, Hewlett-Packard (HP) split into two independent companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Hewlett Packard Inc. Following this split, HPE signed two new major deals: one for the establishment of a new global IT services company, in cooperation with Computer Sciences Corp (CSC), and the other for the selling of HPE’s software business to Micro Focus. All of the companies remain under the HP brand, whose direct involvement in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory remains both palpable and undeniable.
In 2015, Hewlett-Packard (HP) split into two independent companies: Hewlett Packard Enterprise (Hereinafter: HPE) and Hewlett Packard Inc. (Hereinafter: HPI). Following this split, HPE signed two new major deals: one for the establishment of a new global IT services company, in cooperation with Computer Sciences Corp (CSC), and the other for the selling of HPE’s software business to Micro Focus.
All of the companies remain under the HP brand, whose direct involvement in the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory remains both palpable and undeniable. According to information received by Who Profits from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (Hereinafter: MoD), HP is contracted to continue maintaining the Basel biometric system in the checkpoints until the end of 2017.
Who Profits Research Center will continue to follow HP’s developments closely, and will publish any new updates and findings on its online database in the near future.
The Economic Structure
Founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in 1939, Hewlett Packard (HP) is a global company that has penetrated markets around the world with its technology, computing, and IT services. Since 2015, the company’s economic structure has been constantly changing, starting with the split into HPE and HPI and continuing with further splits and spin-offs.
According to Meg Whitman, the Chief Executive Officer of HPE and head of the board of HPI, the first split will enable the company to aggressively exploit the rapidly changing market to its benefit. As per this capitalist logic, HPE has signed a joint venture with CSC to create a global IT services company, which will be completed by the end of March 2017. In addition, HPE’s software business was sold to Micro Focus in an $8.8 billion deal.
The new companies have yet to announce how the old subsidiaries will be divided, but we can assume that the ownerships of these subsidiaries will be divided in accordance with the activity of each of the new companies.
The Technology of the Israeli Occupation: The Checkpoints Industry
Israeli checkpoints are a part of the control and surveillance mechanism imposed on the Palestinian population, and a significant element in the daily reality of the occupation. Furthermore, as part of the Separation Wall apparatus, checkpoints prevent the expansion and development of the Palestinian society and economy in the occupied territory.
HP has been deeply complicit in supporting the Israeli occupation, through various projects in settlements and checkpoints, generating and accumulating profit for more than twenty years. Starting in 2011 and over the period of 5 years, the company managed the Internet server farms of both the Israeli MoD and army. Today, the company is contracted for tens of millions of shekels to provide the Israeli army with printers, maintenance systems, and central servers, until the end of 2016.
Furthermore, under a tender of the Israeli MoD in October 1999, EDS Israel, which had later merged with HP under “HP Enterprise Services”, has provided the Israeli MoD with the development, installation, maintenance and on-going field support of the Basel System. Financed by the US government, the Basel System is an automated biometric access control system, which includes a permit system for Palestinian workers, with fingerprints and facial recognition features. Between 2012 and 2014, Who Profits received two responses from the Israeli MoD to Freedom of Information requests concerning the Basel System, in which it confirmed its installation in more than 20 checkpoints. In 2016, the Israeli MoD has also confirmed to Who Profits that HP is contracted to maintain the Basel system until December 31st, 2017.
In addition to the above, the company has provided services and technologies to the Israeli army and the administration of the Israeli navy, despite the fact that the latter enforces an illegal naval blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007. The IT infrastructure provided by HP to the Israeli navy, through a “virtualization project” contract won by the company in 2009, was used by the Israeli military as a pilot for implementing the same system for all army units. In the same year, HP Global won another contract to supply the Israeli army with all needed computer equipment.
Control of the Palestinian Population
An additional system that has sealed the technological Israeli hold over the Palestinian population is HP’s system for biometric ID cards, which are used through the Basel system to validate their carriers’ identities and document their movement. Palestinians who are permitted to enter Israel are registered in the biometric system and issued a magnetic biometric card. The card holds elaborate information on its carrier, including biometric templates, measurements (fingerprints, retinal, and facial data), and personal data. The biometric cards are issued together with entry permits by the Israeli Population Registry, which holds an information database on all ID holders. The biometric ID system in the oPt is expected to be enforced on the entire Israeli population, including the Palestinian population within the green line, which indicates that it is being used experimentally in the oPt. Consequently, HP’s systems are used as a surveillance mechanism, which enables the state of Israel to obtain further information on the oPt’s Palestinian population.
Finally, HP’s involvement in the control of the Palestinian population is also evident in the company’s “Smart City” project in the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel, where the company also provides the municipality with a storage system.
. Full list of checkpoints: Jericho, Bethlehem (Ma’avar Rachel, Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem, Hebron, Abu Dis, Tarkumia, Ephraim Gate (Sha’ar Efrain, Irtach), Jalame (Gilboa), Barta’s (Rihan), Tura (Shaked), Eyal, Eliyahu, Yoav, Hashmonain (Nialin), Macabim (Beit sira), Al-Jib (Givat Ze’ev), Qualandia (Atarot), Ras Abu-Sbitan (Hazeitim), Halamed He and Sansana (Meitar).
. East Jerusalem: The Humanitarian Impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian Communities, June 2007, OCHA, http://bit.ly/zHCBX0, p. 10, 12, accessed on Sep. 17, 2016; Elia Zureik, 2011. Surveillance and Control in Israel/Palestine: Population, Territory and Power, p. xv. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.