Palestine Action members have scaled the roof of Elbit System’s “Elite KL” factory in Tamworth, which produces military technology and hardware for Israel’s tanks and other military vehicles.
Activists scaled the roof at 4.30am, forcing the site to close. They sprayed blood-red paint across the front of the factory to symbolise what they called “the blood shed by Elbit’s weapons in Palestine and across the world.”
The site, run under the Elite KL brand and working in partnership with its sister brand Elbit-Kinetics, manufactures the computer systems, hardware, and essential components for Israel’s Merkava 4 battle tank.
Palestine Action say the tank has been used extensively “in Israeli atrocities committed in Gaza, including Operation Cast Lead and Operation Protective Edge, wherein Gazans were massacred in their thousands.” Elite KL also manufactures a number of additional products such as military vests.
The occupation of the Tamworth site follows the longest continuous occupation yet undertaken by Palestine Action, with the drone factory of Elbit-Thales UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester having been shut down for six consecutive days.
Last night two activists were forcibly removed from the roof by police and subsequently arrested. But their departure from the site was blocked by activists – hundreds of supporters chained gates, erected barricades and blocked the removal of the detainees for over six hours. This led to large numbers of riot police being deployed.
A spokesperson from Palestine Action said: “The collective power and solidarity of people in Britain continues to grow in their opposition to the British state’s and police’s complicity in protecting Israel’s largest arms manufacturer that profits from war crimes, ethnic cleansing and murder globally. For the sake of the protection of life and human rights, direct action against Elbit Systems is a moral duty. Palestine Action will not stop until we shut Elbit down for good.”
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Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, has ten sites in the UK, including factories and offices.