Today, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the assault on Gaza using drones supplied by Elbit Systems, activists across the UK and Australia staged protests at Elbit Systems headquarters and factories. They have been updating their campaign on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #Stop Arming Israel.
A coordinated campaign took place today across the UK and in Melbourne in Australia to bring attention to the British government’s involvement in funding the Israeli Occupation Forces and implicit support during the assault on Gaza last summer. In the UK, activists “shut down” factories in Staffordshire and Kent, and in Australia activists protested in Melbourne. The factories they have targeted are Elbit Systems, accused of making engines for drones exported to Israel, and Instro Precision, supposedly a manufacturer of unmanned drones used in Israel.
The Independent reported on Thursday that British weaponry might have been used by Israel during the assault on Gaza last summer. The British government arranged arms exports worth around four million pounds to Israel in the three months between the end of the assault in August, called “Operation Protective Edge, ” and the end of December. In the six months leading up to the conflict, Britain exported arms to Israel for almost 7 billion pounds, according to the Independent.
David Wearing, a researcher at the University of London college SOAS, told RT:
“The continuation of arms sales represents a form of political as well as material support from the UK to Israel despite the construction of the ‘apartheid wall’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements there and the ongoing blockade of Gaza.”
During the conflict last year, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said:
“We need an urgent arms embargo on Israel now”