London (QNN)- Three pro-Palestine activists will be having a trial over occupying Elbit’s UAV Engines factor in which engines of drones for Elbit Systems, Israeli-based weapons manufacturer, are produced, including the Hermes 450 drone, which is routinely deployed in bombardments of Gaza.
Three Palestine Action activists, a UK based activist group which leads a growing campaign to shut down Elbit Systems, will be having a trial in the Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court on the third and sixth of December.
The three activists are being charged with criminal damage following their occupation of the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone, Staffordshire.
The activists blockaded the gates to prevent operations at the factory, in which engines and engine parts for a range of Elbit drones are produced.
These include the Hermes 450 drone, described as the ‘backbone’ of the Israeli drone fleet and has been routinely deployed in bombardments of civilians in Gaza Strip.
Therefore, Palestine Action have been calling on all supporters to turn out to the Court on Friday, December 3, and Monday December 6, to protest againt the decision and to call for the prosecution of Elbit Systems.
The group have also called the supporters to bring placards, banners, and voices to support the activists and “take a stand against war criminals profiting from death and destruction.”
Gather outside of Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court on December 3rd & 6th at 9.15AM, to oppose attempts by the state to prosecute those undermining the Israeli murder industry. Show solidarity with activists who will be standing as the accusers, not the accused. #NotGuilty
— Palestine Action (@Pal_action) November 20, 2021
Among the three activists is Sarah Wilkinson, one of the most vocal critics of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Why activists Call to Shut Elbit Down
Elbit systems, Israel’s largest privately-owned arms company, provides the Israeli occupation with around 85% of its killer drones. These drones terrorise the people of Gaza and Israeli occupation uses them in daily surveillance and regular attacks.
The company’s profits skyrocketed after its equipment was used in the brutal 2014 assault on Gaza, helping ‘Israel’ to seal contracts with militaries all over the world.
In 2018, Elbit purchased IMI Systems, known for producing cluster munitions, the IOF’s sole supplier of small calibre ammunition.
So not only are the drones in the skies made by Elbit, the bullets being shot by Israeli occupation snipers are also made by Elbit.
Israeli F-16 fighter jets and Apache and Cobra attack helicopters are all made with Elbit equipment.
They have repeatedly been used to attack civilian areas, homes and refugee camps, resulting in thousands of casualties in Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon.
Also, Elbit’s Hermes 450 is one of the most used drones in the world. The company markets the drone as “combat proven”, having battle-tested it on Palestinian people.
“Until you end your facilitation of Israel’s brutal repression of Palestinians”
The group ‘Palestine Action’ was set up in 2020, breaking onto the activist scene by its targeting of Elbit Systems factories around Britain to end the UK complicity with Israeli apartheid.
The group has been described as using creative tactics, to disrupt Elbit facilities, as well known Climate Change activist group ‘Extinction Rebellion’.
Palestine Action has pledged that the campaign of direct action taken to shut Elbit down will continue to escalate and expand – both by preventing operations and occupying Elbit sites, or by cutting off Elbit’s supply chain and halting operations as Elbit’s partners, landlords and suppliers are targeted.
Palestine Action has called on to an end to the continued facilitation of Elbit Systems and, by extension, of Israeli war crimes.
They say Elbit’s biggest single customer is the “Israeli Ministry of Defence,” the war criminals.
“The production of arms, drones, and military technology relies on an interconnected and massive network of complicit firms – Palestine Action are dismantling this network, demanding that firms cease their partnership with Elbit unless they want to be shut down along with them,” a Palestine Action spokesperson stated.
“The message to all other firms with Palestinian blood on their hands is simple: until you end your facilitation of Israel’s brutal repression of Palestinians and sever ties with Elbit, Palestine Action will shut you down and cease your contribution to genocide for you.”