Volvo Group (AB Volvo)

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A Swedish-based, multinational public company, which manufactures trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines.

The Volvo Group provides heavy machinery used for the demolition of Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and within the Green Line, construction of Israeli settlements and construction of the Separation Wall.

In June 2022, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) responded to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Who Profits, which noted that between the years 2017-2021, the IMOD purchased NIS 28,104,830.98 worth of services from Volvo’s Israeli exclusive distributor, Mayer's Cars and Trucks, for Volvo equipment, including Volvo vehicles, Volvo spare parts and the maintenance of existing Volvo equipment in the ministry’s use.

Home Demolitions:

On 6 March 2023, a Volvo Wheel Loader was  used in the demolition of four Palestinian homes by the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA), including an outhouse and two water tanks, leaving 36 people homeless in She'b al Batem village in South Hebron Hills, occupied West Bank.

In January 2023, a Volvo heavy-duty machine was documented during the demolition of 14 houses carried out by Israeli authorities in Jabal Al-Mukaber neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

In December 2022, Volvo machinery was documented in house demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem. A total of 36 buildings were demolished by the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem in December 2022, leaving 24 Palestinians, including 14 minors, without a home.

On 18 August 2022, a Volvo Wheel Loader was used by the ICA and military in the demolition of 3 homes and 3 livestock enclosures in Khirbet ‘Alan in al-Jiftlik area in the Jordan Valley, occupied West Bank. The Israeli forces destroyed two residential units, an outdoor kitchen and portable belonging to a family of 11, including 7 minors, an additional house, three livestock shacks and two tin rooms used for making cheese, and damaged two water containers and livestock pen fences.

On 7 July 2022, the ICA  used a Volvo Wheel Loader during the demolishment of a home of a family of 15 members and a house under construction in Khirbert Um Qusa in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank.

On 30 June 2022, the ICA used a Volvo Wheel Loader to demolish two agricultural structures in the villages of a-Rifa’iya and al-Buweib in the South Hebron Hills area, in the occupied West Bank.

On 11 May 2022, a Volvo Wheel Loader was documented while Israeli forces demolished 11 structures in Masafer Yatta, South Hebron Hills. Including 8 homes housing 47 people and 19 minors and 4 agricultural structures.

On 14 December 2021, Volvo wheel loaders were used in the demolition of a water well and agricultural walls in the Palestinian village Khalet Alfurn, in east Hebron. Additionally, in 18 October 2021 the wheel loaders were used by the Israeli Army in destroying roads between several Palestinian villages near Tayaseer village in the Jordan Valley in occupied West Bank.

Volvo wheel loaders were also used to move cement blocks used by the Israeli military to block the entrance to the Palestinian neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah where families are facing the threat of forced displacement, in occupied East Jerusalem.

In 2012, Volvo wheel loaders were used to demolish houses in the Palestinian village of Umm al-Khayr and to block roads in the South Hebron Hills area.

Volvo track excavators and wheel loaders were also used for house demolitions in the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem of Issawiya in 2009, Beit Hanina in 2008 and Tzur Baher in 2007, in addition to demolitions in previous years in Silwan, Wadi Qaddum and Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

Home Demolitions in Naqab:

Volvo Group excavators and loaders were also used for the demolition of houses of Palestinian holders of Israel citizenship inside the Green Line. On 11 January 2022, Volvo wheel loaders were documented in the demolitions of residential tents in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Sa’aua and other demolitions in Palestinian villages in the Naqab area.

On 29 December 2021, Volvo's heavy machinery were documented in demolitions in the Naqab Area.

On 2 July 2015, like in previous times, the company's wheel loaders were used to evict the Bedouin community of Al-Araqib from its land in the Naqab.

Settlement construction:

In previous years, the company's equipment was used for the construction of the Har Gilo settlement and the Barkan Industrial Zone in the occupied West Bank. Volvo trucks were also used for the construction of the Huwwara checkpoint in 2008, Route 443 (a West Bank Road for Israelis only) and in the construction of the Separation Wall near the Palestinian village of Al-Walaja.

Services to settlements

Two Volvo certified garages operate in the occupied West Bank, in the industrial zones of Mishor Adumim and Atarot.

Previous involvements:

In February 2016, Volvo trucks were used by the ICA and the Israeli military to confiscate solar panels in Khirbet Jebnah, in South Hebron Hills. In April 2015, a Volvo truck was documented during the confiscation of 12 solar panels belonging to Khan al-Ahmar community in the occupied West Bank by the Israeli Civil Administration and Border Police. In both cases, the solar panels, provided by humanitarian aid organizations, were the community’s sole source of electricity.

Involvement through subsidiaries

Volvo Buses, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, owns 26.5% of Merkavim Transportation Technologies, a private Israeli company that manufactures armored buses used in bus routes to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Merkavim’s remaining shares are held by Mayer's Cars and Trucks, which is the exclusive distributor of Volvo in Israel.

Merkavim’s armored bus, the Mars Defender, was developed in collaboration with the Israeli military. Israel Military Industries (IMI), formerly a state-owned company and now part of Elbit Systems, developed the armor in a joint project with the Israeli Transportation Ministry, Israel Police and Egged.

Merkavim also provides services to the Nachshon Unit, the operational arm of IPS that is responsible, among other things, for the transport of prisoners.