The Necessary Response to #JeninUnderAttack

Jul 5, 2023

Written by Dante Bookman

The recent bombardment and attacks in Jenin have grabbed international attention on the news. Many mainstream news outlets have accepted the occupiers framing at face value, but we’re not afraid to call it what it is – ethnic cleansing. Thousands of Palestinians have been displaced, dozens injured and 11 Palestinians murdered. Infrastructure was destroyed, electricity cut off and roads wrecked by bulldozers, preventing ambulances entering the refugee camp and giving aid to those wounded. This is more proof that the Nakba is not an event but an ongoing process that will only end when Palestine is free, from the river to the sea.

Alongside all this, the refugee camp was bombarded by drone strikes. Technology such as the Hermes 450 drone provide cover from the sky for Israel to murder and displace with impunity. With the constant military occupation of Palestine, there’s a huge profit to be made by arms companies, especially with air technology. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms manufacturer, produces 85% of Israel’s drone fleet. Another company, Rafael, is owned by the Israeli Ministry of Defence and produces a range of flight tech, as well as making missiles for Elbit’s drones.

These two companies couldn’t go about their business without the complicity of the British state. Elbit Systems has 8 sites within Britain where they make their weapons: crucial parts and engines for Israeli drones. The engines of the Hermes 450 are made at UAV Engines in Shenstone, Staffordshire. In Leicester, UAV Tactical Systems produces the Watchkeeper drone, based off the 450’s design. These two factories both export their weapons to Israel, where drones are tested on Palestinians. Elbit has often marketed their weapons as ‘combat-proven’ in the past. For them, Gaza & the West Bank are two giant laboratories in which to refine their talent for taking life. 

Elbit is also paid by our MoD to provide training and technology for the Armed Forces, receiving contracts in the hundreds of millions to do so. Rafael also sees the opportunity for profit in Britain. Recently, they purchased Pearson Engineering in Newcastle to provide the Armed Forces with armoured vehicles. These companies are not just domestic weapons makers. They are dealers in death with a global reach.

‘Surely someone should do something about these companies,’ you might ask. Someone already is. Palestine Action is a direct action network working to Shut Elbit & other Israeli arms manufacturers down, and get the Israeli war machine out of Britain. After having tried protests and marches and petitions, we’ve taken actions such as occupations, blockades and sieges to stop Elbit and Rafael from producing their weapons. And over the past 3 years we’ve seen success. Two of Elbit’s sites have been shut down and vacated, and Elbit lost out on a MoD contract because they couldn’t maintain ‘operational sovereignty’. Rafael’s recent purchase was also the target of a recent occupation lasting two days. As the old saying goes, direct action gets the goods.

You’ve seen the videos of Jenin. You’re probably very, very angry right now. Now is the time to put that anger to good use. Now is the time to take part in the growing movement to shut Elbit down. We’re calling on YOU to join us. Using the link below, you can sign up to join: 

You can also join one of our introduction workshops to direct action, which take place every Wednesday 7PM and Sunday 3PM:

Now is the time to answer the call from the Palestinian people themselves: Globalize the Intifada! We’ve seen in Parliament yesterday it won’t be the politicians who help achieve this. It’s YOU. It’s time to join the movement. We’ll see you on the frontlines for freedom.