Palestine Action group occupies Israeli drone engine factory in UK

Activists demand closure of all factories supplying equipment to Israeli army

Mehmet Solmaz  | 31.10.2023 - Update : 01.11.2023
Palestine Action group occupies Israeli drone engine factory in UK


Four members of the Palestine Action group climbed on the roof of an Israeli-owned drone engine factory in the English city of Lichfield on Monday, calling for the closure of the site.

“Palestine Action activists occupy the roof of the Israeli weapons factory Elbit Systems in the town of Shenstone, England, in protest of its production of equipment used in Israel's murder of innocent Palestinians,” the group said in an online post.

"We do not consent to Israel building weapons on our doorstep to massacre the Palestinian people!" it said in another post.

Speaking to Anadolu, Martin Lynch, an activist from the Walsall Kobar Friendship Association, said he and many others support such protests which draw attention to the companies that are aiding Israeli military’s actions on Palestinians.

“We’re demanding that this factory be closed. It's a death factory. It produces the engines for the drones which are over Gaza as we speak, and they are involved in surveillance but also in actual bombing. It's an absolute obscenity that this factory should be here. It's owned by Elbit Systems which has eight facilities in the UK," Lynch said. "I'm glad to say that they've lost two of them. They were forced to close their Manchester factory as a result of protests and they've closed their London headquarters."

The Palestine Action group is claiming that the factory makes rotary engines that are fitted to a drone called the Hermes 450, which is "used in war crimes."

Sophie, another activist who was present at the protest and wished to be identified by her first name only, told Anadolu that it is known by all that Elbit Systems is the largest Israeli arms production company and has factories across the UK.

“Those drones fly over the skies of Gaza 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Outside of what the horrific situation that's currently happening now, they've been surveilling the captive population of Gaza for years and then of course the Israeli military use that information to specifically target people and as we've seen in the news recently, they use that information to target hospitals and to target schools," she said. "They know exactly how many people how many refugees are sheltering in hospitals before they target them because of the information that they get from these drones.”

The company denies that the factory is producing parts used in Israeli combat drones, without giving further details on how its technology is being used by the Israeli military.

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