Palestine Action struck Mileway, the landlords of Elbit Systems’s UAV Engines Ltd (UEL) factory, with two actions at separate locations in London and Glasgow. Actionists smashed glass, sprayed paint and left messages such as ‘Evict Elbit’ and ‘Free Gaza’ on the company offices.
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. Long a part of the zionist entity’s arsenal, the Hermes 450 is still in use in Gaza today, a vital part of reinforcing Israel’s aim to commit genocide with impunity.
“The Israeli weapons industry, which is responsible for the massacre of over 30,000 Palestinians, the destruction of 70% of Gaza and displacement of more than 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza, is maintained by these same financial institutions which operate across Britain. These actions have struck at the heart of this blood-soaked industry, participants who gladly make millions through their investments in and loans for Israel’s deadly arms trade.”
~ Palestine Action spokesperson
In the past, Mileway had contracted fellow real estate company Fisher German to act on their behalf as property managers for UEL. Palestine Action maintained a direct action campaign against Fisher German until they dropped out of managing the lease at the end of last year, as they revealed to Palestine Action.
These are not the only actions undertaken in solidarity with Palestine. Yesterday, several Barclays sites across Britain were targeted with protests & actions. This is due to Barclays’ investments of over £ 1 billion and £ 4 billion in loans for arms companies supplying Israel, which includes Elbit. Red spray paint covered the Manchester site, and the front doors were glued shut in Birmingham.
Manchester activists, including Youth Front for Palestine, stormed BNY Mellon and occupied the lobby of their building, telling those present and the world that BNY Mellon had invested $13 million in Elbit. Alongside this, Palestine Action sprayed the London office of Scotia Bank, symbolising the Palestinian blood which the Canadian Bank profits from due to its investments of $ 500 million in Elbit Systems. This move has globalised the campaign against the Bank, which was already a prominent target for activists across Canada, as it is the largest foreign shareholder in the Israeli weapons maker.
The group has pledged that ‘business-as-usual’ will continue to be disrupted until those targeted end their ties to the brutal colonisation of Palestine. A list of companies and institutions, including those in the finance industry, which are tied to the Israeli weapons trade, are listed on elbitsites.uk – while a guide for those seeking to take anonymous direct action can also be found on the Palestine Action website.