A private Israeli vehicles and transportation company. The company imports and markets cars, trucks, buses, engines, and heavy mechanical machinery and provides leasing, trade-in, insurance and funding services.
In June 2022, the Israeli Ministry of Defense responded to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Who Profits, which noted that between the years 2017-2021, it purchased NIS 28,104,830.98 worth of services from the company for Volvo equipment, including Volvo vehicles, Volvo spare parts and the maintenance of existing Volvo equipment in the ministry’s use. Additionally to Volvo equipment, it purchased NIS 17, 792,161.94 worth of other equipment, including engines, generators and spare parts.
In 2019 and 2020, the company provided maintenance services to buses and marine engines serving the Israeli police. Additionally, in 2020 the company sold a bus to the Israeli police in an amount of NIS 1,123,697.
Involvement through subsidiaries:
The company’s fully owned subsidiary, Kavim Public Transportation, operates public bus lines from inside green line to and between the settlements of Mevo Horon, Giva'at Ze'ev, Beitar Illit and Modiin Illit in the occupied West Bank.
The company is the majority shareholder (73.4%) of Merkavim Transportation Technologies, a private Israeli company that manufactures armored buses used in bus routes to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Through its subsidiary, Volvo Buses, the Swedish corporation Volvo Group holds the other 26.5% of Merkavim’s shares.
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.
Additionally, in previous years, and in collaboration with Israel Prison Service (IPS), Merkavim developed a specially designed prisoner transport vehicle based on its Mars model. These buses are used by IPS to transport Palestinian prisoners inside the occupied West Bank and from the West Bank to Israeli prisons within the Green Line. Merkavim also provides services to the Nachshon Unit, the operational arm of IPS that is responsible, among other things, for the transport of prisoners.
Additionally, In August 2017, a Merkavim Mars Defender bus was documented in an Afikim bus line to the settlement of Kdumim in the occupied West Bank. Afikim operates bus lines in service of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In 2017, the company’s fully owned subsidiary, K.S. Holdings & Properties Mayer Ltd., mortgaged a 9,163 square meter property located in Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone in the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in the occupied West Bank, for NIS 2,500,000 to Bank Hapoalim. According to the loan documents, the company holds the plot under a leasing agreement with the Civil Administration in the West Bank.
Through K.S. Holdings & Properties Mayer Ltd, the company also holds a 50% stake in Mayer Davidov Garages, which operates a garage in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone in the settlement of Ma'ale Adumim in the occupied West Bank.