Palestine Action has received confirmation that the property managers for Elbit Systems’ Shenstone drone factory, Fisher German, have cut ties with the Israeli arms manufacturer. Having sent confirmation to Palestine Action by email yesterday, Fisher German’s decision follows on the tail of a similar announcement by Elbit’s former recruiters, iO Associates, who dropped Israel’s largest weapons maker after a campaign by the direct action network.
The real estate giant confirmed that they no longer have ties to Elbit Systems or the site of their subsidiary, UAV Engines Ltd (UEL), in Shenstone. UEL designs and makes drone engines, describing its products as “engines for various size tactical UAVs, target drones and single mission platforms.” The factory is a crucial subsidiary of Elbit because it produces the engine for the Hermes 450 drone. Whilst once a surveillance drone which provided the Israeli military with targeting information, the Hermes 450 has since been equipped to carry missiles. It is said to be the ‘backbone’ of Israel’s spying and targeting missions. It has been used for attacks on civilians and targeted assassinations in the 2014 assault on Gaza and will undoubtedly be in use in Israel’s current genocide in Gaza. Fisher German had been made a target due to its complicity in these heinous activities and their (former) facilitation of Israel’s weapons trade in Britain.
‘Today’s announcement shows what we already knew and what we’ve already shown: direct action gets the goods. But our work doesn’t stop here. Elbit can only work here because many other partners and companies facilitate it. It is the responsibility of all those opposed to the genocide of Palestinians to disrupt this supply chain in any way we can.’
~ A Palestine Action spokesperson
As part of an ongoing campaign against those complicit in Elbit’s business of bloodshed, Palestine Action has targeted Fisher German dozens of times. The real estate company was first targeted in 2021 – with an occupation of the roof of their Birmingham offices (Vine Property Management in Harborne), which also saw the site covered in paint. Three activists were eventually found not guilty of the resulting charges in court. These same offices were then hit with five covert actions in 2022, with activists breaking windows and dousing the property in red paint, marking it with a symbol of the blood shed by the company’s Israeli business partners. Fisher German temporarily abandoned the Birmingham premises in August 2022.
Similar actions took place at Fisher German offices across the country throughout the two-year campaign. Most recently, a single activist occupied the roof of the entrance to Fisher German’s Manchester offices, which had also been occupied by a coalition of trade unionists, who demanded that Fisher German cut ties with Israel’s largest arms company. These actions took place in the context of the ongoing genocide waged by Israel against the Palestinian people. A genocide like this would not be possible without Elbit and other Israeli companies and the profit they continue to make in Britain.
The real estate giant was among many Elbit partners and complicit companies on the map of Palestine Action’s Elbit Sites, posted online in its Palestine Action Underground campaign. 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. Palestine Action calls on people across the country to take action against other companies complicit in Elbit’s genocidal arms trade.