A group of pro-Palestine activists have allegedly shut down operations in a Staffordshire factory that they say supplies arms to Israel.
Around 10 activists from the London Palestine Action Group have taken to the roof of Elbit systems, an Israeli company with a subsidiary based in Shenstone, near Birmingham.
According to the LPAG, Elbit systems is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of unmanned aerial drones, which many suspect the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have used in their ongoing offensive in Gaza.
According to the group’s Tumblr blog, the activists chained the doors of the factory shut, and are demanding the closure of the factory, along with‘all forms of military trade and cooperation with Israel.’
The blog goes on to say: “The factory that we are occupying produces engines for drones and is owned by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company and the world’s largest drones producer. Drone engines manufactured at this factory have been [sic] exported to Israel in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and Elbit Systems drones are being used in Israel’s ongoing massacre. Any claims that components manufactured at this factory are not being used in Israel’s current attack on Gaza are not credible.”
The group also says that the factory is part of the ‘Watchkeeper program’ which “is leading the manufacture of a new generation of drones for the UK military.”
The protest began in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with protesters hanging a banner across the factory roof saying “UK: Stop arming Israel”.