One of the world's largest automakers. Its vehicles are routinely and extensively used by the Israeli military in committing human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories.
Toyota Motor Corporation, headquartered in Japan and operating worldwide, manufactures and sells cars, trucks, and buses under the Daihatsu, Hino, Lexus, and Toyota brands. It is part of the Toyota Group and is publicly listed on six stock exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, and the Japanese Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Sapporo stock exchanges.
Toyota's Hilux and Land Cruiser pickup trucks serve as the base for the David Urban Light Armored Vehicle, "the standard patrol and reconnaissance vehicle of the Israeli military, deployed by the hundreds in Gaza and the West Bank, and along Israel's border with Lebanon, according to Who Profits.
These David vehicles are used routinely and extensively by the Israeli military while committing human rights violations in the occupied West Bank, including protecting illegal settlements and military bases, conducting home demolitions, preventing Palestinians from cultivating their land, and suppressing Palestinian demonstrations. The Israeli military also routinely uses these vehicles to patrol its borders, including in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Among the numerous incidents in which it was involved, a David vehicle was documented shooting at Palestinian civilians hiding between a mosque and clinic during a February 2022 Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. A Toyota-based David vehicle was also reportedly the source of the shots that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in September 2022 in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.
Toyota trucks are converted into the David armored vehicle in Auburn, Alabama by MDT Armor, a subsidiary of Israeli company Shladot, which makes other armored vehicles for the Israeli military and other security forces. Shladot also partners with all major Israeli weapon manufacturers, including Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael, which integrate its armor into their products.
Shladot developed the David armored vehicle around 2003 specifically for the urban warfare needs of the Israeli military as a result of the 2000–2005 Palestinian Uprising. At the time, the company was a subsidiary of the U.S.-based weapons manufacturer Arotech Corporation; it was sold in 2012. The David was initially based on the Land Rover Defender pickup truck. After the Defender line was discontinued in 2015, the Israeli military selected Toyota as its supplier for the David. Under a special agreement with the military, the vehicles are reportedly serviced at a limited number of Toyota service centers in Israel.
The first Toyota-based vehicles became operational in 2018. Since then, the Israeli military has acquired an estimated 350 such vehicles for a total of $53.4 million. These purchases were made for Israel by the U.S. Department of Defense, using funds from the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, in five batches in 2018, January 2020, October 2020, 2021, and 2023. The first shipment of the 2023 purchase was rushed to Israel in October 2023 as part of the special U.S. military support to Israel during its attack on Gaza.
Shladot markets the Toyota-based David as "battle proven technology" and has sold it to security forces in Greece, Mexico, the Philippines, the U.S., and unspecified countries in Africa and South America.
In March 2022, Toyota stopped production at its St. Petersburg plant and stopped imports of vehicles into Russia as a result of Russia's war on Ukraine.