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Protesters blockade UK arms firm over Israel drone contract

Activists from Inminds human rights group yesterday blockaded the entrance of a UK arms factory to protest against its contract to build drones based on an Israeli model which has been marketed as being “field tested” in “real life” situations.

During the protest, an industrial gases supply tanker and other vehicles were forced to use other entrances to enter and leave the factory compound in Crawley, West Sussex, the group said in a statement.

The protest was part of larger action taking place today by the Sussex Stop Arming Israel Campaign in response to a Palestinian call for a comprehensive two-way arms embargo against Israel.

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said: “Thales UK has a billion pound contract with Israel’s largest arms company Elbit Systems to develop a fleet of drones. Human Rights Watch has documented [the drones] as being used by Israel to deliberately target Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”

“It’s sickening that Elbit markets this killer drone as being extensively ‘field tested’ in ‘real life’ situations – using the slaughter of Gaza’s people as a marketing ploy to gain a competitive advantage!”

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