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Palestine rights activists arrested protesting against Israel arms trade

Palestine Action activists stage a protest against Israeli defence company 'Elbit System' in London, UK on 5 September 2020 [Palestine Action]
Palestine Action activists stage a protest against Israeli defence company 'Elbit System' in London, UK on 5 September 2020 [Palestine Action]

Four members of Palestine Action activists were arrested on Saturday at the mass protest to shut down Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems, at their London office.

During the protest, the direct action group campaigning against Israel’s brutal occupation, splashed paint along the entrance of the Elbit office.

Groups of protesters held banners with statements such as “Stop Arming Israel”, “Elbit Arms: Tested on Children”. A number of pro-Palestine groups including cyclists from the Big Ride, members of Football Against Apartheid and the Jewish Anti-Zionist network were amongst the demonstrators.

Members of the British public, unaware that an Israeli arms manufacturer was housed in the building also offered their support for the protestors.

Speaking ahead of the protest, activist Huda Ammori said: “The UK has been complicit in the colonisation of Palestine for over 100 years. They are openly allowing Elbit Systems, who market their weapons as ‘battle-tested’ on Palestinian civilians, to operate here in the UK. This cannot and will not continue. We need all people of conscience in the UK to take a stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, to disrupt ‘business as usual’ and mobilise to shut Elbit down.”

READ: ‘Palestinian blood’ painted across Scottish football stadium ahead of match with Israel

The activists group say that they are “determined to take action until there is no place for a company developing and selling their weapons off the deaths of so many Palestinians.”

Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest private arms company, marketing their weapons as “field tested” on Palestinian civilians, notably Gazans who are mostly children and refugees. Elbit supplied 85 per cent of the drones used in the invasion of Gaza in 2014, where over 2,200 Palestinians, 500 of them children, were killed in only 50 days. Elbit systems have ten sites across the UK.

Palestine Action has made the Israeli arms manufacturer one of its main target until the office is shut down. launched just over a month ago, the group has targeted several Elbit sites across the country and mobilised activists across the UK to ramp up the campaign to shut Elbit down.

Prior to the protest, Palestine Action activists in London targeted Elbit’s London office over five times in one month. This involved storming the office, spray painting messages inside and outside and covering the offices with red paint to symbolise Palestinian blood.

The four activists that were arrested at the protest were released on Sunday, pending investigation.

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