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Ongoing: Protest at Israeli pharmaceutical factory

Ongoing: Protest at Israeli pharmaceutical factory

From 5.30 am this morning, over 30 People have been protesting at the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Protesters are waving Palestinian flags and have unfurled a banner: 

Boycott Teva Pharma

No to Apartheid Drugs!

Teva is Israel’s biggest pharmaceutical supplier and commercial company by market value and one of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturers. It provides millions of dollars in tax revenue to the Israeli colonial regime and its military. Last year (2023), Teva paid the Israeli government $565M in taxes accrued from 2005. 

This money directly funds the murder machinery used by Israeli forces to destroy Palestinian lives, which is currently being used to slaughter tens of thousands of Palestinians after Israel launched its latest brutal and genocidal assault on Gaza.

Teva supplies more packs of medicine to the NHS each year than anyone else in Britain – that’s around 15% of total medicine packs in the UK.

Quote from Youth Front for Palestine:

“We won’t stand by while British pharmacies are being flooded with medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering and subjugation. When it comes to Israel, everything, including pharmaceuticals, is part and parcel of settler colonialism and apartheid. Let’s not be fooled by what they market as “exceptional”, “groundbreaking”, and “improving the lives of people” when it comes at the expense of an entire occupied population.”

“We are calling on people to join hundreds of other pharmacies in Britain and across Europe to boycott Teva and not to sell medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering. When there are always many alternative medicines available, we should not be getting our medication from an Apartheid State, a state now committing genocide in Gaza. We should not sell medicine tainted with Palestinian suffering.”

There is a long list of Teva complicity in Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians:

In monopolising the Israeli pharmaceutical sector, Teva contributes to Israeli settler-colonialism and the apartheid regime, including settlements built on stolen Palestinian lands. The company also provides the Israeli Occupation Forces with medical supplies and donations.

TEVA contributes towards Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in many other ways: 

Teva enjoys full access to the captive Palestinian market in the West Bank and Gaza, where Palestinian pharmaceutical companies are unable to perform due to Israeli restrictions and, thus, remain dependent on the Israeli occupier for medicine. 

The Palestinian pharmaceutical industry suffers from numerous oppressive obstacles as a direct result of the Israeli regime and its monopoly on the industry through companies like Teva, including but not limited to: 

Palestinian pharmaceutical companies are forced to ship bulk pharmaceuticals to international pharmacy chains through Jordan with significant added costs. This is due to Israel’s denial of drugs being shipped in bulk via Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel does not allow Palestinian pharmaceuticals to be distributed within occupied East Jerusalem hospitals and pharmacies and does not allow vaccines to be given at Palestinian-run schools.

Palestinian representatives of large multinational companies are required to obtain a ‘non-objection’ letter from Israeli colleagues in order to receive an import license from the Israeli Ministry of Health. 

Accordingly, the occupation of Palestine seeps into every crevice of daily life, including the ability of Palestinian pharmaceutical businesses and companies to function and operate without repression or restriction.  

Teva is also one of the companies complicit in limiting the supply of medicines to Palestine, adding to the health burden carried by people in the occupied territories.

Israel controls the import of all raw materials and equipment into the Palestinian-occupied territories. As a result, Israeli medicines, such as those manufactured and distributed by Teva, are more affordable due to the high taxes imposed by Israel on products entering the West Bank. In Gaza, this has been even more dire, with Israel preventing the entry of necessary materials throughout the 16-year-old blockade it has imposed on the strip.

It has been reported that the Israeli Ministry of Health has allowed large Israeli pharmaceutical companies to test their products on Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. In 1997, it was reported that over 5,000 tests had been performed on Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli authorities have historically refused to return the dead bodies of Palestinians, such as Fares Baroud, who was killed by Israel’s regime’s denial of medical treatment. This has raised suspicions of Palestinian bodies being used to conduct medical experiments.

It has also been reported that Israeli authorities have harvested the organs of Palestinians who were killed, possibly to subject them to medical experimentation. Such practices continue to be reported by those on the ground in Gaza currently, as Israeli forces are routinely withholding Palestinian bodies. 

Teva’s profits are directly derived from decades of colonisation and exploitation of the land and people of Palestine. It is our duty to do everything we can to ensure our money is not being used to further genocidal and colonial oppression. 

We have to kick Teva out of our medicine cabinets and out of our pharmacies!

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