Israel has now declared a ‘full siege’ on Gaza, dropping 1,000 tonnes of bombs on the 25-mile-long Strip and cutting off all supplies, food, energy and water to its 2 million inhabitants. Over 700 Palestinians have been killed, over 180,000 made homeless, and Gazans are preparing for worse to come. Until now, it was unthinkable that their 17 years of captivity and starvation could be made any worse. At this moment, those of us living in the globe’s imperial core face a choice: between silence and complicity in the decades-long brutalisation of Palestine or standing with the liberation efforts of those subjected to Israel’s war crimes, apartheid, and constant abuses of human, religious, and cultural rights.
As the fight to liberate Palestine enters a new phase, so does Palestine Action. Based on the recent launch of Palestine Action Underground, a list of over 50 targets complicit in Elbit’s murderous arms trade has been made available on elbitsites.uk. Additionally, the publication of Palestine Action: The Underground Manual contains the essential information for creating an autonomous group able to independently strike at the facilitators of Israel’s systemic and military violence.
For those of us in Britain, the US, EU, and elsewhere, we have the privilege, and it could be said the obligation, of taking direct action against Israel’s weapons factories. These factories are placed in companies allied with the occupation regime, with both the host country and Israel profiting from the production of weaponry either bound for, or developed upon, Israel’s genocidal occupation. For this reason, Palestine Action’s main target has hitherto been Elbit Systems and their affiliates. Elbit Systems are a mainstay of the occupation and its aggression: manufacturers of 85% of Israel’s drone fleet – without which these assaults on Gaza would be much limited, sole supplier of its small-calibre ammunition, and responsible for producing a range of ‘battle tested’ munitions, high-explosive rounds, and mortar bombs.
We acknowledge that no company can operate in isolation. Elbit relies on a broad, complex supply chain, and each facilitator of its crimes against the Palestinians plays their part in the bloodshed – from office suppliers to logistics, landlords to recruiters. These companies willingly partner with and profit on the back of Elbit Systems and its business of bloodshed. By enabling this company to operate in Britain, their partners are accountable for the cruelty and suffering conducted with Elbit weaponry. Murderous drone strikes in Gaza, imperialist border-security operations in the US, EU, and Britain, and weapons exports to regimes including Myanmar and Azerbaijan: these are the activities enabled when companies align themselves with Elbit Systems.
Elbit has continually seen its British operations undermined for the past three years, with Palestine Action refusing to allow them a quiet moment. We have shut down two of their factories, costing them hundreds of millions in now-voided Ministry of Defence contracts. With the launch of Palestine Action Underground, independent groups across the country can now take the direct action movement into their own hands as we continue to mobilise against Elbit Systems and their affiliates.
Listed companies include the likes of Kuehne + Nagel, providers of shipping services for Elbit; Fisher German, property managers for Elbit’s UAV Engines factory in Shenstone; ADS Group, an arms industry body of which Elbit is a member, and similar such participants in their criminal enterprise. Targets will remain on the list until they publicly announce they have permanently cut all ties with Elbit. Until that point, direct action will continue against all friends of apartheid.
Image: Guy Smallman