Palestine Action crashes gates of Israeli arms factory, disrupting combat drone production

Oct 3, 2022




Photos are free to use, with credit to Vladimir Morozov:

  • This morning, two vans were ploughed into the gates of the Shenstone UAV Engines factory, with six activists swiftly locked-on to the vans to prevent their removal as they obstruct all entrances to the factory.
  • UAV Engines is owned in whole by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, and has faced regular distruption as a result of direct action for over two years. The factory has seen numerous days-long occupations, and has in recent weeks been the site of a protest camp outside the factory
  • UAV Engines has been targeted owing to its production of parts and engines for Elbit Systems’ range of combat drones. These drones include the Hermes 450 & 900 (which Elbit markets as ‘battle-tested’ – on Palestinians), Watchkeeper and Shadow drones

This morning, two vans made a morning delivery from Palestine Action to the the gates of the UAV Engines drones factory in Shenstone. One van has crashed into the gate, while the second is blocking it and obstructing entry to the Israeli drone engine factory. Two activists were arrested in the process, while the remaining activists swiftly locked-on to the vans, preventing the vans’ removal and bringing the site to a standstill. The UAV Engines factory is operated by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, as one of the firm’s eight remaining British locations. Police and Elbit Systems’ hired security have acted swiftly, erecting checkpoints around the town of Shenstone and temporarily closing the road leading to the factory.

Today’s action is the latest in a number of instances of direct action taken to prevent operations at the Shenstone factory. The site has been met with sustained direct action over the past two years, with dozens of groups of activists stepping in to prevent the manufacture of drone engines and parts. These actions include blockades and lock-ons to prevent entrance to the site, as has happened today, along with roof top occupations and the dismantling of the factory premises. Activists at the site have been joined by Staffordshire residents, who have repeatedly turned out in support of the #ShutElbitDown campaign, with the presence of the site being the source of grievance for many in the local community.

The factory specialises in the manufacture of engines and other parts used in combat drones such as the Hermes 450/900, a lynchpin in Israel’s military operations. The factory also manufactures parts for the Watchkeeper, used for surveillance purposes by Britain and the EU, and the Shadow drone, which forms part of the US military arsenal, notably used in the American invasion of Iraq and likely to be used in ongoing attacks on Yemen. Elbit Systems, which produced 85% of Israel’s drone fleet, manufactures a number of combat and surveillance drones for export – marketing their products as ‘battle-tested’ or ‘combat-proven’ as a result of their deployment by Israeli forces against Palestinians. Israel continues to use drones to murder and repress Palestinians in Gaza and the occupied territories, with the past week seeing Israeli deployment of drones against protesting Palestinians in Nablus.

A Palestine Action spokesperson has said: “This action is the latest in the #ShutElbitDown campaign, intent on driving up pressure on Israel’s largest arms company to leave. Many are now realising that when your own government actively supports the oppression of other nations, you have not only a right to disrupt this, but also a duty to. Day by day, Israel’s impunity is crumbling, and with it, people are flocking to take direct action at every level to end the daily violence Palestinians face.



Elbit forced to close its London HQ:

Elbit closes Oldham factory in January:

Upcoming trial of the #ElbitEight:

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

Palestine Action is a direct-action network dedicated to sustained direct action against Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, and other companies who aid Elbit, working for the closure of every Elbit site and an end to British complicity in the colonisation of Palestine.


Elbit Systems is Israel’s largest arms company, with 8 remaining sites in Britain. They manufacture weapons including drones, artillery and target acquisition software in Britain. All of which are marketed as “battle-tested” or “combat-proven” – as tested on the captive population of Gaza.

Company profile on Elbit Systems:

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children playing 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: