Let’s make 2024 the worst year for Elbit yet

Dec 31, 2023

This year, the stakes involved in the Palestinian struggle has been made clear for all – in conjunction with Palestine’s liberation efforts, those of us in the countries supplying the genocidal settler project need to act. This is what Palestine Action, 3 years into our direct action campaign, have continued to do as we work to undermine Israel’s arms trade in Britain. 

The ongoing ethnic cleansing by the occupation, which has claimed the lives of over 25,000 Palestinians, is being aided and abetted by Western governments and industries – particularly the arms industry. The blood of each Palestinian is on the hands of the companies manufacturing the drones, planes, munitions and more, while hundreds of thousands more have been injured, displaced, and made to starve. This is a continuation of over 75 years of ethnic cleansing which Britain has always been complicit in – but this complicity is gradually being eroded by direct action resistance.

More actions than ever before have taken place this year, with multiple actions, occupations, and blockades each at four of Elbit’s sites, along with break ins and disruptions at other companies including Leonardo, Thales, and Rafael.

This is what we did across 2023 – and we need everyone to be involved in 2024 as we build the next phase of our resistance:

Two actions in January saw Palestine Action Scotland occupy the roof of the Leonardo UK factory in Edinburgh, shutting down production of Israeli jet targeting systems, and activists storm the stage to expose Elbit at their Canary Wharf gala dinner. In February, we responded to the UN‘s buying of Elbit drones.

Activists took actions to occupy and dismantle targets including Elbit’s accountants and their lobbyists, on various dates before the 1st May, when the ‘Siege‘ of Elbit’s Leicester site began. This included months of actions – including numerous blockades, lock-ons and diverse sabotage – and a camp and road closure maintained for weeks on end, along with actions at secondary targets. Further actions took place in May against Israeli-state owned Rafael, occupying their arms production plant in Newcastle, and at the Foreign Office.

The summer saw the launch of Palestine Action Underground, with a renewed focus by the network on unpredictable, covert action against secondary targets – undermining the facilitators of Israel’s arms trade. Activists crashed an international drone business fair and a weapons dealership summit, and the campaign against Elbit’s recruiters IO Associates kicked off – which saw them drop their client in a few short weeks of actions.

Since the commencement of the zionist state’s most intensive genocidal efforts, their ongoing destruction of Gaza and its population, solidarity with Palestine has become far more urgent. Not only have our actions expanded in Britain, but overseas too. Here, since October, Palestine Action have struck at Elbit’s sites in Leicester twice, in Kent three times, and in Shenstone and Bristol, with action also against the Foreign Office, Leonardo and, Elbit’s landlords. Palestine Action has gone global, with activists under the banners ‘Palestine Action US’ and ‘Palestina Libera (IT)’ having commenced actions against Elbit, and an inter-continental ‘Day of Action‘ against Elbit Systems saw them face resistance across the world.

The strategy, of targeting those companies which support Elbit’s operations as well as targeting the weapons company itself, has this year seen recruiters, property managers, and web services companies cut ties with Israel’s arms trade. Wins in the courts have seen acquittals of activists who took action in Parliament, defacing the Balfour statue, and of an activist who occupied Arconic, along with the partial acquittal of the ‘Elbit Eight’

Alongside this, Palestine Action has also seen the state amping up its efforts at supression, including the remanding-to-prison of dozens of activists, and custodial sentences handed to some, after it was also revealed this year that the Israeli Embassy has attempted to influence the prosecution of our activists. In the face of increased state repression, our response will remain steadfast as ever: Palestine Action will never back down to a crackdown. We will continue to meet any attempts at prosecution unflinchingly. 

More actions than ever before have taken place this year, and, as could not be more obvious since October, in 2024 we will ramp up the campaign in solidarity with Palestinian liberation. Watch our for our upcoming strategy document in the new year which will lay out ways for everyone to get involved in the campaign to #ShutElbitDown. 

Let’s make 2024 the worst year for Elbit yet!