Zoko Enterprises

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Zoko Enterprises Ltd. imports and markets heavy mechanical equipment, and provides spare parts, project development and services.

Zoko Enterprises Group provides machinery and services to the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) and the Israeli military, with whom they work closely. The company is responsible for a large part of the Israeli military’s combat vehicles routine maintenance and provides professional training for the Israeli military.

The company’s fully owned subsidiary, Tractors and Equipment (I.T.E) Ltd., is the exclusive supplier of Caterpillar heavy machinery for the Israeli military. The company retrofits Caterpillar heavy machinery vehicles for the needs of the military, including the installation of gunner positions and a bulletproof driver cabin to allow for battle use. Company personnel is responsible for the maintenance of the combat vehicles in use by the military.

Caterpillar machinery has been in use for the demolition of Palestinian houses in the occupied Palestinian territory, the construction of settlements and settlement infrastructure on occupied Palestinian land, construction of the Separation Wall in the West Bank and the wall surrounding Gaza. Caterpillar products have also been used for creating roadblocks, dispersing demonstrations and as weapons, and are also used in military training taking place in the occupied Syrian Golan.

Zoko Enterprises operates a training center that provides teaching, training and cooperation services to the Israeli Air Force, Combat Engineering Corps and Technology, Maintenance Corps and the Israeli Navy. According to the company’s website, the training is carried out by senior instructors from the Caterpillar Company.

Zoko Enterprises has been involved in retrofitting and supplying specially designed manned and unmanned military D9 Bulldozers (Dawn Thunder), and the development of excavators for military use, such as the remote-controlled armored Caterpillar MiniCat MTL-257B. Tractors and Equipment (I.T.E) is similarly involved in a joint project with Ta’as – Israel Military Industries to design an armored military vehicle based on a vehicle of Tatra (Wildcat).

In 2009, Zuko Enterprises signed an agreement with the Israeli military that allows the recruitment of company personnel during combat to maintain Caterpillar D9 bulldozers in battle and grants the company's maintenance team the status of reservist soldiers, so that they can repair the machines during combat if necessary. As part of the agreement, when the Israeli military declares a state of emergency, the company becomes a military unit whose employees are recruited as a maintenance force and placed in the framework of their reserve service. During the Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2014, Company employees were deployed in the battle front as part of their maintenance work.

The D9 bulldozers are in Israeli military service as early as the mid-1980s, but over the years their use has expanded greatly. The armored tools are used for house demolitions, uprooting of trees and military urban incursions into the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza. The D9 was used during the Israeli military attacks on Gaza and was extensively used for house demolitions in Israeli military operations in the West Bank. Other heavy mechanical equipment, truck and armored vehicles by Caterpillar, were supplied by the company and used in the construction of the separation wall and checkpoints and the expansionist settlement enterprise. For more on Caterpillar's involvement in the occupation, visit the company's profile.

Zoko Enterprises is also the exclusive representative of the American company, Navistar International. For decades, Navistar trucks have been in use by the Israeli military and include unit trucks, transport trucks, driving training trucks, towing trucks, track sweepers, rescue trucks, and others. Zoko Enterprises has a global maintenance agreement with the Israeli military to provide the military needs during routine and emergency situations.

In 2019, Zoko was contracted by the IMOD to supply heavy towing trucks for armored personnel carriers (APC) transportation, bulldozers and various cargo made by Navistar. The contract, which also included the maintenance of the tools and spare parts, was estimated at US$50 million.

In 2017, the IMOD purchased 90 tank carriers manufactured by Navistar, model International i5900, which were supplied to the IMOD through Zoko Enterprises, the company's representative in Israel. The purchase worth $28 million was made in the USA with Foreign Aid funds.

Also In 2017, the Israeli military purchased the 5,900 pull trucks manufactured by Navistar, for the pulling of the Israeli military Merkava tank. Zoko Enterprises retrofitted the pull trucks for the use of the Israeli military and is in charge of their maintenance.