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Recruitment company cuts ties with Israel arms manufacturer in UK

December 1, 2023 at 1:05 pm

Activists storm and occupy iO Associates Manchester Office on 1st September 2023 [Palestine Action]

The sole recruitment company for the UK branch of Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems, has ended its association with the company, Palestine Action has said.

The direct-action group said iO Associates announced its decision to sever ties with Elbit on 29 November. The recruitment company had been a target of months of disruptions by anti-apartheid activists who sought to “impede their ability to recruit roles for Israel’s war machine,” Palestine Action said today.

iO Associates recruited the engineers, software developers and finance staff for Elbit Systems around the UK. Elbit is the largest weapons supplier to the Israeli occupation military, providing the vast majority of its drones, munitions, surveillance gear and parts for its tanks, jets and precision missiles. From Britain specifically, it manufactures parts for Israel’s drones, tank parts and more.

Activists paint iO Associates offices red on 9 October in London, Reading and Manchester [Palestine Action]

Activists paint iO Associates offices red on 9 October in London, Reading and Manchester [Palestine Action]

As part of efforts to drive iO Associates to cut ties with Elbit, activists stormed and occupied its Manchester office on 1 September and again on the 7th October. Activists painted iO offices red on 9 October in London, Reading and Manchester. They were forced to vacate their Manchester offices from 11 October, after the premises were also stormed by the Youth Front For Palestine, and then finally targeted in Edinburgh twice, on the 11 and 17 October.

Staff members also resigned as a result of the company’s arms trade partnership, staff told Palestine Action.

iO Associates did not reply to MEMO’s request for comment.

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