For the third day running, Palestine Action activists are occupying an Israeli arms company factory, UAV Engines in Shenstone. They scaled the building in the early hours of Monday morning, others locked on in front of the gates.
Chains were also used to close the gates shut. Red paint was poured down the front of the factory to symbolise the Palestinian bloodshed by the company profiting from Israel’s apartheid regime. Windows across the factory have been smashed.
Three activists which blocked the gates on the ground were arrested on Monday, two of which had no further charges. In the early hours of this morning, Palestine Action activists in London targeted Elbit Systems HQ in Holborn and their landlord – LaSalle Investment Management in Mayfair. They also threw red paint and spray painted “Shut Elbit Down” across the buildings.
Palestine Action is calling for all Elbit Systems sites to be shut down in the UK, and an end to UK complicity with Israeli apartheid. Elbit Systems openly market their weapons as “field-tested” on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. They provide the Israeli military with over 80% of its military drone fleet, which is used to terrorise and massacre Palestinians in Gaza.
These drones include the military drones Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 which were employed extensively during the 51 day attack on Gaza in 2014, which killed over 2200 Palestinians including 500 children. Elbit has also recently won the contract to surveill and stop migrants and refugees trying to arrive to UK shores. UAV Engines produce the engines for Elbits drones.
Palestine Action as a grassroots network of activists dedicated to ending Israeli apartheid, occupation and colonization, has been active for just over a month. In this month, they have held over 15 successful actions targeting the company.
Palestine Action’s growing popularity has begun to be seen as a threat to both Elbit’s business in the UK and Israel’s apartheid regime. At a recent meeting between Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs Orit Farkash and the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Minister Farkash demanded that the British government take action against the growing BDS campaign protesting both Elbit Systems and Israel’s apartheid regime, specifically referring to the successful actions of Palestine Action.
Quote: “The UK government has been complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over 100 years. Now they continue to profit from, sustain and facilitate Israel’s apartheid regime. While our government continues to turn a blind eye to Elbit Systems continuing to arm Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, we too will continue to disrupt and take direct action for the sake of human rights, justice and freedom. We call on all those who stand against racism and for humanity to take action, join us and shut Elbit down for good.”