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Weapons factory protesters on trial for Elbit occupation

SEVEN people will attend court tomorrow in Kent for occupying an Israeli-owned arms factory.

The activists face a maximum sentence of three months in prison if convicted at Folkestone magistrates’ court of aggravated trespass.

They were arrested in August at the Instro Precision arms factory in Sandwich, Kent.

Its parent company Elbit Systems supplies military equipment to Israel and claims its products are the “backbone” of Israel’s drone fleet, which has been used extensively in attacks on Gaza.

The activists are expected to plead not guilty at tomorrow’s hearing and a full trial may not take place until next year.

A statement released by the Stop Elbit-Instro Defendants Solidarity Campaign said: “The skilled engineers of Elbit-Instro could be working to make the world a better place, yet instead they are employed to build machines that incinerate children.” 

It added: “Shame on them all.”

And a statement by East Kent Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “There are urgent questions about whether Instro’s specialist targeting technology is employed by Israel for targeting Gazan civilians every Friday during the Great Return March civil rights demonstrations, or in maintaining the surveillance of Palestinians​​.”

Elbit Systems says on its website: “Conducting our business ethically and consistent with best practices and legal requirements is essential to our success. 

“Our policy is to follow best practice compliance standards applicable to the broad range of our global activities.” 

And Elbit encourages staff who suspect the company has committed “legal or ethical violations” to blow the whistle by contacting its chief compliance officer.

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