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Palestine rights activists arrested for bid to board up Elbit Systems offices

PALESTINIAN rights activists were arrested at the weekend after attempting to board up the London offices of an Israeli arms firm and splattering red paint across the entrance. 

About 100 people gathered at 77 Kingsway, Holborn, where Israel’s largest private arms firm Elbit Systems has its London office, to rally against the company’s “complicity in war crimes” in Palestine. 

Ahead of the demonstration, organised by Palestine Action, two activists had attempted to board up the doors of the offices with planks to symbolise the group’s demand to shut down Elbit Systems. 

Another threw fake blood across the entrance. Four arrests were made, including three before the protest had started at 1pm that Palestine Action condemned as “violent” and “unnecessary.” The group said that activists, one of them a Palestinian, had sustained bruises after being tackled to the ground by police officers. 

Elbit Systems supplies about 85 per cent of the drones used by the Israeli military that are used in daily surveillance and attacks on Gaza, according to Corporate Watch.

Members from various groups, including members of Football against Apartheid and the Jewish Anti-Zionist network, joined the protest alongside musicians and drummers. 

A Palestine Action spokesperson told the Star: “Those pre-emptive arrests are protecting Elbit Systems [which is] complicit in war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza.”

“Instead of protecting war criminals, the police should be shutting them down.” 

The four were released yesterday morning without charges but pending investigation. 

A statement by the group said: “Activists remain determined to take action until there is no place for a company developing and selling their weapons off the deaths of so many Palestinians.” 

The Metropolitan Police did not respond to the Star’s request for comment. 

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