Activists set up camp to shut down Elbit Shenstone

Jun 17, 2024

Images & videos of today’s actions, free to reproduce, can be accessed via Dropbox

Activists have set up camp at the premises of Elbit Systems’ UAV Engines, Shenstone, increasing pressure on the Israeli drone manufacturer which has today found its weapons-sights factory in Kent, and the offices of its major shareholder Scotiabank, shut down by Palestine Action [1]

The camp, far from the first that Palestine Action has undertaken against the Israeli-owned Staffordshire factory [2], has been established in the trees surrounding the Lynn Lane, Lichfield site. Limiting the operational capacity of the factory, the camp threatens the production of the drone engines and components therefore which UAV Engines is currently producing for the Israeli military.

UAV Engines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems, the parent company producing for 85% of Israel’s drone fleet [3]. This includes the Hermes 450 and 900 drones terrorising Gaza, the rotary Wankel-style engines for which originate from UAV Engines in Shenstone [4]. While UAV Engines regularly claims that they produce solely for the British Ministry of Defence, export license information, showing their regular shipment of ML10 UAV parts [5], along with Freedom of Information requests detailing the company’s non-disclosure agreement in place with the Israeli ‘military end-user’ of their products [6], suggests that this is a falsehood. 

On the same day, activists have taken on another Elbit site – storming and breaking apart the premises of Instro Precision, the Kent-based manufacturer of weapons sights and targeting systems similarly exported for use by Israel’s genocidal military [7]. Scotiabank, the Canadian bank which is Elbit’s largest foreign shareholder [8], has had their London offices blockaded by a lock-on action today, a week after activists smashed and sprayed red the premises of 20 Barclays branches across the country as a result of their billions invested in Israel’s genocide [9]

[6] (p5)