Today, July 6, activists in the UK shut down three of four Elbit-owned factories, including a drone engines plant.
Four different factories owned by Elbit Systems were shut down by protesters on the one year anniversary of last summer's Israeli attack on Gaza.
Despite police instruction to discontinue protesting, multiple activists have refused to leave UAV Engines Limited, a drone engine factory near Shenstone, Staffordshire. Since early this morning, UK activists have successfully blocked any type of access to the factory. Palestine solidarity campaigners around the world are supporting them despite at least ten arrests.
In addition, production has been ceased at Elbit’s Elite KL factory in Tamworth, Staffordshire and Instro Precision in Broadstairs, Kent. Activists have been protesting on the roof of both factories.
Activists accuse the companies in participating in the destruction and utter devastation caused by Israel's war crimes in Gaza by producing and exporting arms to Israel. The engines produced by UEL factory were used in Israel's 2008-2009 attacks on Gaza under the codename "Operation Cast Lead," which killed 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza, according to Amnesty International's research.
Elly Hassan, from London Palestine Action, stated,
“These Israeli-owned factories are very much a part of Israel’s brutal regime of apartheid and settler-colonialism over the Palestinian people. Israel was only able to massacre thousands in Gaza last summer because factories like these are allowed to operate and because governments such as the UK government continue to allow arms exports to Israel. People have come here from all over the country to show their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and to demand that the UK government imposes a two-way military embargo on Israel,” she continued.
”We urge people that share our opposition to Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people to join the growing movement for a boycott of Israel.”
Just last summer, Israel killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, 551 of which were innocent children. In addition, the 2014 assault, code named "Operation Protective Edge" left 1,000 children permanently disabled and another 11,000 injured. In addition to the horror, 100,000 people were left homeless after an estimated 18,000 homes were destroyed.
Sayeeda Warsi quit her post in the cabinet stating the UK's stance on arms sales to Israel was "morally indefensible."
A report entitled "Arming Apartheid" released last week by War on Want, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and Campaign Against the Arms Trade found that Britain approved the exportation of nearly $6.2 million dollars worth of fresh arms to Israel, including components for drones.
For updates follow @blockthefactory, @LondonPalestine and #StopArmingIsrael on Twitter.