As Israel continues to bombard Gaza, direct-action protest group, Palestine Action, has seized control of one of the buildings belonging to Israel's most advanced weapons manufacture, Elbit Systems.
Palestine Action have occupied Elbit's factory, UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester and chained the gates shut, disrupting the company's production of arms and military technology. Activists have taken direct action in response to Elbit's funnelling of arms to the Israeli occupation force, which the group said are committing war crimes in Gaza.
This action comes as Israel continues its bombardment of Gaza, killing over 210, including 61 children, and wounded over 1,500.
"With the IDF targeting civilian areas, healthcare premises and key infrastructure, the war crimes being committed rely on technology produced at Elbit sites across the UK," said the group.
Palestine Action seized control of the Leicester factory of Elbit subsidiary UAV Tactical Systems earlier today. "Activists scaled the roof, locked the factory gates, and are preventing access and stopping the production of deadly arms. The occupation aims to be as disruptive as possible; these activists are determined to prevent Elbit from resuming its business of bloodshed," Palestine Action said.
This is the first time Palestine Action has struck at Elbit's Leicester site, which is run by Elbit-Thales joint venture UAV Tactical Systems. The company is said to manufacture the Hermes drones used extensively by the Israeli army – made in Britain and used in Gaza, Columbia, Azerbaijan and elsewhere. The site is also believed to produce the Watchkeeper drones employed in droves by the UK Military and Border force, having been used to inflict death upon Afghans and Iraqis and surveil refugees in the Channel.
"Palestine Action will continue disrupting Elbit's conveyor belt of death, preventing any more UK-made weaponry from finding its way into the hands of the Israeli military and its brutal police forces, where it would be used to commit even more war crimes," the group said in a press release.
"By successfully acting to #ShutElbitDown these conscientious actionists have shown that the UK's complicity in the ethnic cleansing and murder of Palestinian civilians will not stand."
Palestine Action has declared that actions will continue to escalate, stating: "Today's action shows that it is entirely within our power to stop the production of brutal machinery which is fuelling war crimes in Palestine. The past week has shown the relentless death and destruction that Israeli forces can and will inflict with UK-made munitions and military technology. It is the duty of anyone who has been rightly appalled by these atrocities to stand up and take action, to prevent the Israeli war machine receiving any more armaments produced in this country."