Activists from the Manchester Palestine Action network have scaled the roof of the Israeli owned Elbit/Ferranti arms manufacturer in Oldham in protest of UK complicity in Israel’s human rights violations.
To commemorate the five-year anniversary of “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians, activists draped large banners in front of the building which read “UK Stop Arming Israel”.
The group say that over the last five years the UK has raised their arms sales to Israel and are calling for an arms embargo and the closure of all Elbit factories in the UK.
A group of activists also entered the new, hi-tech, Discovery Industrial Park in Kent and headed towards Elbit’s, purpose-built Instro Precision factory. They blockaded both of the gates to the factory and scaled a shipping container forcing the factory to close.
In 2017 the Campaign Against Arms Trade reported that the UK issued £221 million worth of arms licenses to defence companies exporting to Israel which makes Israel the eighth largest UK arms market.
In the past half-decade Israel has brought over £350 million worth of UK military hardware.
During the Great March of Return Israeli snipers have killed over 180 Palestinian protesters including 57 children, yet the UK has approved some £14 million worth of arms sales during this period, according to the group.
Adie from Manchester Palestine Action said: “We think that arms companies like Elbit Ferranti should stop operating when it is clear their weapons are being developed through the mass murder of Palestinians in Gaza and the rest of Palestine. The crimes must stop and so must UK-based companies that are profiting from them.”
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