A US-publicly traded tech giant, which designs and sells technologies that power the internet. The Company integrates platforms across networking, security, collaboration, applications and the cloud.
Through its fully owned Israeli subsidiaries, Cisco Systems has a broad base of complicity with Israel’s occupation economy, predominantly through the provision of services to the Israeli military.
Services to the Israeli Military
Unified Communication Systems
From March 2020, Cisco Systems began laying tens of Unified Communication system for the Israeli military, expected to reach hundreds of systems. The unified network centralizes the transfer of video, voice, and data between different Israeli military’s units. Cisco’s Unified Communication system serves to accelerate the Israeli military’s response timeframe.
David’s Citadel – underground ICT Data Center
Cisco Systems’ computing and communication systems as well as cyber security and load balancing systems were integrated into the Israeli military’s biggest ICT underground data center in the Naqab called David’s Citadel, completed in 2020, The Data Center cost reached NIS 1.6 billion.
The Military server farm has a storage capacity that’s a 10,000 more than the standard computer and integrates 300 of the Israeli military’s surveillance, intelligence and combat units’ ICT data systems in one base. Centralizing Israel’s ICT data serves to bolster the capacity of Israel’s intelligence and combat military units.
The center is part of the Israeli military’s strive to centralise data and its “move to the south” plan launched in 2011, expected to cost over NIS 25 billion. The plan involved the relocation of Israeli military bases to the Naqab as part of Israel’s broader strive to Judaize the Naqab. Visit who Profits interactive map Tools of Dispossession in the Naqab: Development & Military Projects to read more about this plan.
Joint projects with the military
In May 2022, it was reported that Cisco engineers together with Israeli soldiers of the ICT Unit developed application for use by civil society organizations which work with the military.
According to the Cisco’s VP of technology, “The connection between the technology units in the Israeli military and the high-tech companies in Israel is a significant anchor in the accuracy and advanced development of technologies that serve the security of the state and the bodies responsible for it…..The sight of officers in uniforms sitting next to our engineers and developing together technological solutions is very natural to us, but still exciting.”
In 2017, Cisco Systems won a tender to supply the Israeli military with servers for the duration of three years with the possibility of extension, for a total amount of NIS 1 billion. The servers were to be integrated by the Israeli company Bynet Data Communications Ltd. The tender was funded by US foreign aid provided by the United States to Israel.
Technological hubs on occupied land
In February 2019, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, announced the allocation of NIS 90 million for the launch of 45 technological hubs, all of which will be equipped with Cisco communication technology.
By October 2022, three of the 10 hubs opened to date are located on occupied territory. One is located in the occupied Syrian Golan –at the Ha’Emir junction, between the settlement of Sha’al and Odem. The other two are located in the regional council of the settlement of Mateh Binyamin and Shomron Regional Council, in the occupied West Bank. At least one additional hub is planned in the Golan and others will serve the settlements of Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, Kiryat Arba, Gush Etzion in the occupied West Bank. Additionally, twenty-six hubs are planned in Jerusalem.
Technological Hubs in the Naqab
In the Naqab, where ten Cisco technology equipped hubs are planned, two are located in Palestinian towns – one in Hura and the other in Ar’arat al-Naqab (two out of seven Palestinian Bedouin towns in the Naqab). In 2018, the first Hub was launched in cooperation with Dimona Municipality, and since then several others hubs were created in the east and western parts of the Naqab.
These hubs form part of the Israeli government’s industrialisation and resettlement plan which strives to create jobs in the Naqab, in the hope of drawing Jewish Israelis to settle in the region, while concentrating its Palestinian communities into ghettoized residential areas. For more information on this plan and its effects on the Naqab’s Palestinian community see Who Profits’ report: Plundering the Sun: the Israeli Solar Energy Industry and Palestinian Forced Displacement and Who Profits’ interactive map Tools of Dispossession in the Naqab: Development & Military Projects.
Services and Equipment to the Israeli police
In August 2022, the Technology Department of the Israeli police purchased communication equipment called “Nituv” (Routing) including licensing and software manufactured by Cisco through the seller, Matrix Network Net Ltd.
According to a response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Who Profits to the Israeli Police, between the years 2020-2021 the Israeli police purchased Cisco Systems equipment and software worth NIS 4,060,533 million.
Enhancing surveillance in Jerusalem
In August 2017, Cisco made an offer to the Jerusalem Municipality to launch a pilot project for the development of Smart City technology, free of charge. The 36-month joint venture was to be implemented in two sites in the city centre of West Jerusalem, with the prospect of expansion. The pilot project included the implementation of technology, communication equipment and CCTVs, connected to a command-and-control centre. The centre is to be equipped with video analysis software and technology – including the ability to detect voice and alert of lingering groups – and have the ability to analyse footage from up to 10,000 CCTV cameras.
In a March 2020 response to an FOI submitted by Who Profits, the Jerusalem Municipality stated that this project was not renewed, however Cisco all installed equipment to the municipality, and that there were no direct contractual agreements with the company at the time.