Freedom News

Activists cut internet access for arms factory that supplies Israel

Activists from Palestine Action Scotland sabotaged the internet cables of the Leonardo UK factory in Edinburgh.

Palestine Action says that in the early hours of Tuesday 28th May, a group of its activists sabotaged an arms company that supplies Israel. They “opened the box of cables, cut the internet wires, sprayed expanding foam inside the box and spray painted ‘stop Arming Israel’ on the lid. The groups adds that at the front of the factory “others sprayed the fighter jet display with paint to symbolise the company’s role in spilling Palestinian blood.”

Leonardo UK is a branch of the largest arms manufacturer in Italy, which is 30 percent owned by the Italian government. The Leonardo weapons factory in Edinburgh specialises in what it calls “high-energy military lasers”, which are rigged to F-35 fighter jets, which Israel has been using extensively to bomb Gaza. Leonardo also supply Israel with Aermacchi M-346 aircraft and components for its Apache attack helicopters, all while benefitting from millions in Scottish Enterprise funding, according to Palestine Action The weapons firm also merged with Israeli arms company RADA Electronic Industries, in a move that gives Leonardo what it calls a “stable domestic presence in the Israeli industrial context”.  

Leonardo has also been the main supplier of helicopters to the UK military. Its UK business includes what used to be Westland Helicopters, which became part of AgustaWestland and is now Leonardo Helicopters, as well as substantial military electronics, cyber-security, and space business.

In response to an earlier protest in January 2023 Leonardo UK did not deny supplying Israel with weaponry but simply said it “complies fully with all the UK Government’s export control protocols” and claimed it had “a positive role in safeguarding the UK and its allies.”

On Friday, Freedom published an article on anti-war resistance to this company in Italy.

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