Activists of Palestine Action occupy Elbit’s roof


ENGLAND, PALESTINOW.COMSeveral activists from Palestine Action have occupied the roof of an Israeli-owned arms factory based in the UK, and blocked the entrances from the ground, forcing the site to halt its production of deadly weapons.

On Tuesday morning, the activists climbed on to the roof of Elbit’s UAV Engines factory in Staffordshire, smashed the windows and prevented the site from opening.

They have chained the factory gates shut to block off all access and splattered the building in blood-red paint.

The activists have also displayed banners reading ‘Shut Elbit Down’ and ‘Elbit Arms: Israel Kills’.

Police have arrived at the scene but as of yet, no arrests have been made. Activists continue to keep the factory closed, preventing the workforce from accessing the building.

The action comes after a three-day rooftop occupation last September that cost the company an estimated £145,000 in damages.

There have been other similar ‘shutdowns’ by Palestine Action in November 2020 and January 2021.

Today’s factory closure is the group’s second large-scale action this month, as on 1st February, Palestine Action joined forces with Extinction Rebellion North to occupy Elbit-Ferranti in Oldham for 16 hours, in what was described as the “first of many” collaborations.

A member of Palestine Action said about today’s occupation, “We’re back, and this is once again, a clear and unwavering message to the immoral profiteers of war and the perpetrators of crimes against humanity that we’re not going away until Elbit’s lethal chain of weapons factories are hounded out of the UK. Petitioning and protests don’t work, so it’s our moral obligation to take matters into our own hands and use direct action to shut these death factories down for good.”

Over the last 16 years, Elbit has established a large presence in the UK, opening 10 production sites across England and Wales, including four factories.

Elbit provides the Israeli occupation with around 85% of its killer drones. These drones murdered 164 Palestinian children in Gaza in 2014 and Israeli occupation uses them in daily surveillance and regular attacks.

The company’s profits skyrocketed after its equipment was used in the brutal 2014 assault on Gaza, helping ‘Israel’ to seal contracts with militaries all over the world.

In 2018, Elbit purchased IMI Systems, known for producing cluster munitions, the IOF’s sole supplier of small calibre ammunition.

So not only are the drones in the skies made by Elbit, the bullets being shot by Israeli occupation snipers are also made by Elbit.

Israeli F-16 fighter jets and Apache and Cobra attack helicopters are all made with Elbit equipment.

They have repeatedly been used to attack civilian areas, homes and refugee camps, resulting in thousands of casualties in Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon.

Also, Elbit’s Hermes 450 is one of the most used drones in the world. The company markets the drone as “combat proven”, having battle-tested it on Palestinian people.

Elbit’s biggest single customer is the “Israeli Ministry of Defence,” the war criminals.

Since 2018, the UK government has bought £45m worth of military equipment from the company despite its role in aiding and escalating Israel’s war crimes in order to maintain its illegal occupation of Palestine and sustain its brutal system of apartheid.

In January, Britain’s Ministry of Defence gifted the company with a £102 million contract to develop new surveillance technology to enable “frontline” soldiers to detect and accurately fire on alleged “enemy” targets in a matter of seconds.

Palestine Action, which launched in August 2020, is working to shut Elbit’s UK-based war industry down and has collectively hit the firm’s sites around 50 times in just 6 months, also targeting its London landlord, LaSalle Investment Management.

Actions have caused Elbit’s factories to close on five separate occasions, while a series of occupations and well-attended public protests at its London HQ has disrupted the company’s business-as-usual complacency and raised considerable public awareness.

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