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Activists paint offices of Israeli arms dealer Elbit red

ACTIVISTS smeared blood-red paint across the London HQ of Israel’s largest arms firm - the second occupation of the office in just one week. 

A group of around 10 activists from newly launched network Palestine Action stormed 77 Kingsway in Holborn, where Elbit Systems has an office on the sixth floor. 

The activists managed to enter the building yesterday afternoon after one member distracted security by approaching the closed doors dressed as a courier. 

After entering the lobby, three activists unfurled a huge banner reading: “Shut Elbit Down,” while the others ran up to the stairs to leave vivid messages on the door of Elbit’s office: “Tested in Palestine, used in Kashmir” and “we will be back.” 

Following the action the activists said: “While our government continues to turn a blind eye to Elbit Systems continuing to break the law in order to manufacture weapons for Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinian people, we too will continue to disrupt and break the law for the sake of human rights, justice and dignity.”

Elbit supplies 85 per cent of the Israeli military’s drones which were used in the bombardment of Gaza in 2014, according to anti-arms group CAAT. 

Palestine Action highlights that the drones are marketed as “battle tested” because they are first used on Palestinian people. Despite this Britain hosts 10 Elbit sites, including four arms factories, believed to manufacture parts of the unmanned drones. 

On the same day the group also sent a letter to Elbit’s landlord urging them to “reconsider” its tenancy of the arms firm. 

The letter addressed to the building’s owner LaSalle Investment Management, and seen by the Morning Star, reads: “We are writing to you in order to inform you that one of your tenants, Elbit Systems UK, is implicated in systematic violations of international law and, in many cases, possible war crimes.”

By hosting Elbit in its multi-occupancy offices, Palestine Action accuses LaSalle of being “by extension, an accessory to Israel’s many violations of international law and human rights.”

It comes less than a week after activists occupied the office for the first time, when security prevented them from reaching the sixth floor.

No arrests were made on either occasion. However, a Metropolitan Police investigation has been launched into the incident last week, according to the Jewish Chronicle. 

Palestine Action activists added: “We will not stop, and we will continue to escalate our actions until Elbit Systems’ complicity in war crimes and apartheid here in the UK are shut down.”

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