Elbit is Israel’s largest arms producer (SIPRI). Its portfolio includes systems for military aircraft and helicopters, drones, armed remote control boats, land vehicles and for command and control. Elbit describes its drones as “the backbone” of Israel’s drone fleet (Elbit website).

 

UAV Engines is a subsidiary of Elbit, the largest Israeli arms company. The Elbit factory has previously been blockaded in 2014, 2015 and 2016, by activists calling for a 2 way arms embargo between the UK and Israel. The 34 arrests in that period produced no trials and no convictions as Elbit UAV chiefs baulked at the threat of revealing the extent of their weapons contracts with Israel and other regimes guilty of major human rights abuses. 

 

The July 7th blockade of the factory took place on the third anniversary of the Gaza massacre in 2014 that led to the death of over 2200 Palestinians including 500 children. Many of these war crimes were committed by Elbit drones, including the Elbit Hermes 450 and Elbit Hermes 900. Any attempt to claims that components manufactured at this factory are not being used in Israel’s surveillance and regular attacks on Gaza are simply not credible. The factory manufactures engines for drones which are known to have been exported to Israel prior to major attacks on Gaza in recent years. The factory is also a fundamental part of the Watchkeeper program under which Elbit Systems is leading production of a new generation of drones for the UK military. The Watchkeeper drone is modelled on the Hermes 450, documented as being used to kill Palestinian civilians during the 2008-09 attack on Gaza. Elbit uses the murderous impact of these weapons for profit, marketing the drones as ‘field tested’ – in other words, proven to successfully slaughter Palestinians with nowhere to run.

 

We must continue to take direct action because grassroots movements must act when governments allow and enable such atrocities. The UK is complicit not only because it continues to sell arms to Israel but also because it is importing technology developed during the course of Israeli massacres. The only course of action is a full and immediate two-way arms embargo on Israel and the closure of the Elbit Systems factory immediately.

 

We need your help to accelerate our campaign against Israel’s arms factories based in the UK and to push for a 2 ways arms embargo between Israel and the UK.

 

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Our group is focused on using creative actions to accelerate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) of Israel, focussing on the Stop Arming Israel Campaign and challenging UK businesses and institutions complicit in Israel’s crimes of Apartheid and Ethnic Cleansing against the Palestinian people. We are one of the most active Palestine action groups in the UK and we are completely self-funded – we need your help to sustain and grow these successful campaigns.

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