Production of Israeli arms halted – Elbit’s Oldham factory shut down by Palestine Action

Aug 23, 2021


  • At 6:30 this morning, production at the Elbit Ferranti arms factory in Oldham has been completely halted as Palestine Action activists occupy the site
  • Activists have blockaded the site entrance with vehicles, locked themselves onto gates, and scaled and occupied the factory roof. Activists are currently dismantling premises and spraying blood-red paint across the site – all to prevent Elbit’s contribution to the repression of Palestinians
  • The action comes as Israel continues to raid Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank while brutalising civilians, using UK-manufactured weapons and technologies produced by firms such as Elbit Systems.
  • The Oldham factory is used for the production of a range of specialist weapons technologies, including components for Israeli drones and battle tanks.

Since 6:30 this morning, Palestine Action activists have been occupying the Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham, Greater Manchester. The site, used for production of a range of Israeli weapons technologies, has been blockaded – with vehicles obstructing entrances and activists locked onto gates. The factory building has been scaled and the site fully occupied, as activists prevent operations and the production of arms bound for Israel. Those occupying the site intend for the action to be as disruptive as possible, and have begun dismantling premises by smashing windows and have covered factory premises in blood-red paint.

This action is being taken to undermine the production of weapons and military components by Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems, who market their products as “battle-tested” on Palestinians. Today’s action follows further Israeli aggression in Palestine – in the past week, Israeli raids into the West Bank and Gaza have killed dozens, while Israeli forces also violently repress Palestinian civilians who had been commemorating the burning of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This aggression against protestors has involved opening fire on children, with one 13 year old in critical condition after being shot in the head. The technologies and components used by Israeli police for this repression, as well as the aircraft used to launch subsequent air raids on Gaza, are often produced by Elbit Systems, Elbit Ferranti, or any number of other subsidiaries including UAV Tactical Systems, IMI Systems or others.

The Elbit Ferranti site in Oldham is specifically used for the manufacture of specialist military products and technology – including the SkEye persistent surveillance system for Elbit’s Hermes 450 and 900 drones, both of which have been used extensively in successive Israeli bombardments of Gaza. Ferranti advertise the manufacture of the SpectroXR ultra-long range imaging system at the Oldham site – which is again used in Hermes drones. The site is also used in the manufacture of IronVision helmets for use in battle tans such as the Carmel, which have been designed specifically for operations in densely built, urban areas (Gaza).

A Palestine Action spokesperson has said the following:

The activists currently occupying the Elbit Ferranti factory have once again shown the power of direct action against Israeli oppression. While Western governments continue to side with the oppressors, and while media attention in Palestinian suffering has dwindled, Palestinians are still exposed to daily brutality, starvation, apartheid and death. These activists are bravely standing against this injustice – and we will continue to do so until Elbit is shut down”.

This August marks one year since Palestine Action was founded, and the group have occupied Elbit sites in the UK three times in this month alone. This is thesixth time that the group have shut down the Elbit Ferranti Oldham factory over the past year.


Palestine Action

Attached is an image of today’s action, free to print or reproduce, with credit to be given to Kenny Brown Photography

If you would like any further information on this action or on Palestine action, please contact or our press line at 07404569733

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.

Recent actions:

A Palestine Action activist on why he takes action against Elbit Systems:

Elbit Systems

Dozens wounded as Israel fires at Palestinian protestors, 13 year old boy shot in the head:
Israeli forces kill 4 Palestinians, 2 teens, during night raid:
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:
Elbit surveillance technology for Israel’s apartheid wall:
UK Ministry of Defence signs £102 million contract with Elbit Systems UK for “sensor-to-shoot” system: