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PALESTINE solidarity activists staged protests at three Israeli-owned arms factories in Britain today.
The action marked the anniversary of the 1917 signing of the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the Israel’s founding in 1948.
The Elbit Ferranti factory at Oldham, Greater Manchester, and Elbit’s Elite KL factory at Tamworth, Staffordshire, were attacked, damaged and sprayed with red paint in the early hours.
Manufacturing centre UAV Engines at Shenstone, Staffordshire, was also blockaded and shut down.
The protests were carried out by direct action group Palestine Action, which says that hundreds of activists are stepping up actions against Israeli-owned arms factories in this country.
Huda Ammori of Palestine Action said: “These multifaceted ‘hits’ against Israel’s largest arms company have set a new precedent for sustained direct action, involving hundreds of activists from up and down the UK.”
Elbit weapons are known to have been used on the people of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Ms Ammori said: “Elbit, Israel’s largest private arms manufacturer, is producing ever more lethal weaponry on British soil, supplying the world’s most notoriously repressive regimes, including India’s current occupation of Kashmir.
“The oppression of the Palestinians and the Kashmiri people, of migrants and refugees, does not happen in isolation. It happens because of the legacy of this country.
“It will only end when people of the UK, and those in in towns such as Tamworth, Oldham, Sandwich and Shenstone or cities like London and Bristol, take the power into their own hands to shut down war profiteers and end the colonial legacy that haunts British history.”
The Balfour Declaration, named after then British foreign secretary Arthur Balfour, was issued on November 2 1917.
Manchester Palestine Solidary Campaign chairwoman Norma Turner said: “We are protesting on Balfour Day. The Balfour Declaration was the seed of the UK betrayal of the Palestinians.
“It set out UK support for an Israeli state in Palestine, enabling the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.
“Palestine Action has organised protests today against Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, which has factories and offices across the UK. The weapons manufacturer advertises its wares as ‘battle tested’ because they are used on the population of Gaza.”
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