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Palestine Action activists shut down Elbit's Bristol HQ

PALESTINE ACTION shut down the Bristol headquarters of a weapons system manufacturer today to disrupt the supply of arms to Israel.

Four activists attached themselves to each other to prevent any entry to the Aztec West site, where Elbit Systems oversees its operations in Britain.

Last year, members of the group broke into the building to mark 74 years since the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe), in which thousands of Palestinians were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced as the state of Israel was established.

Today’s action was part of an escalation of protests by the group amid the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Last week, activists blockaded the same site by occupying the roof and preventing vehicles from reaching the factory.

On Monday, the group targeted Elbit’s Instro Precision factory in Sandwich, Kent.

Palestine Action has called for the intensification of direct action against the Israeli-owned firm, its partners and others that facilitate the Israeli weapons trade.

It said in a statement: “Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest weapons company, supplies 85 per cent of Israel’s drone fleet and land-based military equipment, and are vital in the state terror inflicted on Palestine.

“These actions happen at a time when Israel is mounting a campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing, bombarding Gaza and killing over 10,022 people including 4,100 children.

“Elbit has openly talked of having ‘battle-tested’ its weapons through Israel’s deployment of them against Palestinians before these are then sold on the global market.

“With Elbit’s new products, the Iron Sting mortar bomb and its new drone technologies being deployed against Gaza, how long will it be before we see the British government procure these for itself?

“We refuse to allow Elbit’s business to continue at the expense of the Palestinian people.”

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