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Nine arrested after activists target Israel's largest arms manufacturer

Palestinian Action members were arrested after breaking into Elbit System’s premises in Bristol.

NINE activists, including two Israeli citizens, have been remanded in prison after targeting the Bristol offices of an Israeli arms firm. 

The Palestinian Action group activists were arrested on Sunday after breaking into Elbit System’s premises in Bristol, smashing windows and damaging the offices inside.

Six of the activists had been informed that they had been granted bail but in a “highly unusual move” the decision was later appealed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the group said.

The activists were set to be taken to Bristol Crown Court for an appeal hearing today against the decision to deny them bail. 

Two Israeli activists were denied bail outright and have also been remanded in custody, along with another activist. It is believed to be the first time that Israeli citizens have been locked up in Britain for protesting against Israeli apartheid. 

The Bristol action was taken to coincide with Nakba Day — commemorating the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians in 1948 when the state of Israel was formed. 

Palestine Action said that the CPS had cited protests by the group against Elbit’s site in Oldham, which was forced to close earlier this year as a result, as a reason to remand the activists in prison. 

The group described the nine activists as “political prisoners,” saying that the decision to remand the activists was an “attempt to deter activism against complicity with Israeli apartheid.”

“While Elbit and the British state might try to crack down our work, our resistance is ongoing,” a spokesperson said.

“At first, we might have been considered a nuisance, now they’re trying to keep us in prison as long as possible.”

To date no member of the group has been convicted over its campaign to shut down Elbit’s operations in Britain.

A CPS spokesperson said: “It is not unusual for the CPS to challenge a court's decision to grant bail. The CPS makes its decisions independently of any outside influences or political issues.”

Also the story was more about the activists being remanded in prison after the CPS appealed the court's decision to grant bail. Could have instead said - "Israeli activists remanded in UK prison over Palestine solidarity protest"

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