Palestine Action shuts down Israel arms supplier’s HQ on Balfour Declaration anniversary
UK-based activist group Palestine Action occupied the Bristol headquarters of Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest privately owned arms manufacturer, on Tuesday - the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
Several activists scaled the building early Tuesday morning and occupied the roof, while others daubed the building in red paint, signifying "the Palestinian bloodshed from which Elbit profits", the group stated on its webpage.
BREAKING: Palestine Action activists scale and occupy Elbit's Bristol HQ: covering the site in blood-red paint. On the anniversary of the Balfour declaration, we're taking direct action to dismantle British complicity in Israeli apartheid and #ShutElbitDown. pic.twitter.com/hpG27rOdzy— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) November 2, 2021
The activists also targeted the London offices of Jones Lang LaSalle, Elbit’s landlords, and called on them to evict the company from their properties.
It was the latest in a series of demonstrations against Elbit in the UK. The activists claim that the weapons made by the group target Palestinians in occupied territories.
"Targeting Elbit's HQ directly achieves two goals. One, it continues to follow the strategy we have been engaged with over the last year of directly halting or disrupting Elbit's operation in this country. Two, it raises awareness of the government's ongoing complicity in Elbit's and by extension, Israel's, crimes against the Palestinian people," a Palestine Action spokesperson told The New Arab.
Tuesday’s action fell on the 104th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, when the UK said it would "look favourably" on the establishment of a Jewish home on Palestinian land - which later became administered by London.
Palestine Action has said thousands of people have joined the organisation since the 11-day bombing of Gaza, when over 255 Palestinians were killed, including 67 children.
The group told The New Arab there have been over 100 arrests of their activists over the course of a year, but no convictions to date.
Elbit did not respond to The New Arab's request for comment at the time of publication.