Nine Palestine Action Activists Remanded in Prison After Nakba Day Action

May 18, 2022


  • Nine Palestine Action activists have been imprisoned after intervention by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to deny them bail.
  • Six activists were read bail conditions, and then remanded to prison awaiting a court hearing following CPS intervention. Another three activists were denied bail, again following CPS involvement. Such intervention is highly unusual, and these activists’ treatment appears to be an attempt to deter activism against complicity with Israeli apartheid.
  • All nine activists, two of which are Israeli dissidents, are now political prisoners, as part of an attempt to repress protests and direct action against Israel’s arm trade in Britain.

Nine activists have been imprisoned after taking action against Elbit’s Bristol HQ on Nakba day, 15th May. Six activists were informed they had been granted bail and had their bail conditions read to them before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) appealed the decision and the activists were remanded in custody.

The process was an intentional performance in cruelty, intent on confusing and misleading the activists. The appeal against this must be heard in the 48 hours. These six activists are being held in court holding cells tonight, before being taken to the police station in the morning where they will remain until they are taken to Bristol Crown Court Thursday for the appeal on Thursday. 

Palestine Action believes the process of appealing the bail, which has not happened with the charging of activists thus far, is a clear attempt to tire out the activists, and is a pointless and cruel exercise. It is highly unusual for the CPS to intervene in this situation, especially as 5 out of this 6 activists have never before been arrested.

The final three activists, the two Israeli dissidents and a third, were denied bail, which will be appealed by lawyers. The denial of this bail means that there are now, for the first time ever, two Israelis locked up in British prisons for taking action against an Israeli arms company. Apparently Israeli citizenship only protects you when you are pro-apartheid. All of this weeks’ proceedings have the intended effect of making an example out of the activists. Such treatment has not come as a surprise for the activists, who are facing these processes head-on as part of their ongoing solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The activists were arrested and detained after disrupting the criminal operations of Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems, at their Bristol HQ offices on Sunday, 15th May. Elbit is famed in the international arms market for marketing their weapons as “combat proven” on Palestinians and refugees in occupied Gaza and the West Bank. In solidarity with the Palestinian people, Palestine Action activists work to undermine Elbit’s arming of apartheid, their facilitating of ethnic cleansing and war crimes, and to undo the profits they generate from this.

During the hearing the CPS admitted that Elbit’s Oldham factory – which had round-the-clock police protection – had been forced to close down in January due to the sustained campaigns of Palestine Action, with the CPS using this as an argument to remand the activists. This is confirmation that the CPS is using the success of Palestine Action as a reason to imprison activists, and confirmation that Elbit’s increased security and the CPS’ appealing of bail are part of coordinated attempts to clamp down on activists and curtial the growing success of the movement. This all comes despite the CPS failing to secure a conviction in any case they have so far brought against Palestine Action activists.

“As all the activists are imprisoned, they are now political prisoners,” says Palestine Action. “Whilst Elbit and the British state might try to crack down our work, our resistance is ongoing. At first, we might have been considered a nuisance, now they’re trying to keep us in prison as long as possible. The time to end complicity with apartheid is now.”

Notes to Editors: 

Israeli dissident statement on action:  

Bristol HQ Action Press Release: 

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact 

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against Elbit Systems’ UK locations at grassroots level, calling for them all to be shut down and for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

For previous actions please see:


Company profile on Elbit Systems:

Detail on Al-Aqsa mosque attacks: Israel storms Al-Aqsa, beats Palestinian worshipers to make way for Jewish settlers – Mondoweiss

Bombardment of Gaza: Israel strikes Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket as tensions soar in Jerusalem – CBS News

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children paying on Gaza beach in 2014:

More on the death and destruction inflicted by Elbit’s drones upon Gaza: