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Paragliding equipment from the Czech company Nirvana Systems helped terrorists from the Palestinian organization Hamas penetrate Israeli territory on October 7. Paraglide from Přerov can be clearly seen in the video footage broadcast by foreign media. This was reported by the American conservative organization United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).
UANI first turned to the Přerov company, but it only responded to SZ’s question. How its machines could have reached the terrorists from the Gaza Strip, its owner Pavel Březina does not know: “I have no idea. We have sold a total of 3,500 paramotors worldwide and over five thousand parachutes. You probably understand that I don’t know all my customers, by the way we also have a dealer in Israel, also in America, Germany and a total of 42 countries,” he said in a telephone interview.
While Nirvana Systems has no partner company in the Palestinian territories, it had one in the past in Iran, which sponsors the terrorist movement. It is said that he no longer cooperates with the flight school in Tehran, which is listed on the website of the Přerov company as one of the distributors.
Iranian partner lives in Los Angeles
“That person has been living in America in Los Angeles for the past five years. If it is listed on our website, then only from a historical point of view. There is usually one person behind such companies, the business is small. If you sell three machines to someone in a year, that’s already a good customer. When that person moves, the contact ceases. We just haven’t updated the website, we’re just trying to survive since covid,” explained SZ Pavel Březina.
About the delivery of humanitarian aid
In short, everything is missing, Zdeněk Müller, humanitarian worker of Médecins Sans Frontières, assesses the supply of the Gaza Strip. In an interview for Nauzal, he also describes his experiences from the hospitals there. According to him, there were no Hamas bases under them.
According to him, the company has not had any large orders in the Middle East in recent years, not even in Israel. “I have no idea how they got there… Normally, they could buy our products anywhere in the world. I saw a sample sent to me by an American journalist. If you look closely at it, you can see three different parachutes, each from a different company. Only we have a logo on them,” says the owner of a Přerov company, adding that it is similar to if terrorists from Hamas drove around in Škoda cars.
However, the director of UANI research, Daniel Roth, was not satisfied with the answers of the head of Nirvana Systems: “This equipment was used as a weapon in the war, the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post reported on similar attacks already in 2014, so it was already known. The fact that they have on their website that they do business with Iran is unacceptable, they should cut off all contacts immediately. But it’s still there after your phone call,” Roth wondered in an online interview for Nauzal.
UANI also mentions another of Nirvana Systems’ business partners, namely the Hungarian company PPGMAX Ltd. based in Budapest. According to the website, she serves as an intermediary to Iranian customers.
In addition, according to gratf.org (Global Combating Terrorism), there is clear evidence that Hamas members have been trained to operate powered paragliders in Malaysia, where Nirvana Systems is represented by Air Ventures in Kuala Lumpur, led by instructor James Gibbs. However, the Malaysian regime does not include Hamas on its terrorist list, and it is a legitimate entity for it.
We will not change the export
When asked whether the company will modify its export policy after this experience, the owner of Nirvana Systems Březina answers in the negative: “We will not change anything. We are trying to make ends meet at this time, which in itself is very difficult. We have downsized the company now, energy and all government regulations and packages are going against us. If I don’t want to close the company, I’ll take any business. Of course, I will not sell anything to anyone if I suspect that it should be used for terrorist actions or military purposes,” he chokes.
Activist Roth claims that the Czech company should check its partners more. “In the context of the unusually good relations between the Czech Republic and Israel, it seems unusual to me that a company does business in Iran. This is not very common for Central European companies, rather we encounter it in Western Europe. In addition, the company did not even respond to our e-mail and did not assure us that this will not happen again,” criticizes the Czech paraglider manufacturer.
However, according to some voices, UANI is overdoing it with its criticism of doing business with Iran. Investigative website The Intercept reported that UANI condemned companies that legally exported medicine to the Islamic Republic, even during the coronavirus crisis. “No, we are not in the business of drugs and agricultural equipment,” however, Daniel Roth denied this information.
Paragliders as sports equipment are not subject to sanctions. “Paragliders are not on the list of controlled dual-use goods without another. They would only be considered military material if they were intended for military use,” a source from the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, who did not wish to be named, wrote to Seznam Zprávám.
With the contribution of Jiří Pšenička.