Palestine Action target Barclays and JP Morgan in Leeds over Elbit investments 

Jun 27, 2024 | 0 comments

Images available for free, with credit to IMD milo

Activists from Palestine Action targeted two banks in Leeds city centre, over their shareholdings in Israel’s biggest weapons firm, Elbit Systems. Using repurposed fire extinguishers, Barclays Leeds branch and the Pinnacle building, the base of JP Morgan’s offices, were covered in red paint – a symbol of both banks complicity in the Gaza genocide. 

Both Barclays and JP Morgan holds shares in Elbit Systems, a key supplier for the Israeli military. During the Gaza genocide, the Israeli weapons maker has “ramped up production” in order to meet the growing demand for more munitions and arms to decimate Palestinian lives in Gaza. In addition to providing the majority of Israel’s military drone fleet and land-based equipment, the company use Gaza as a testing ground for their new weaponry which is often marketed as “battle-tested“.

Barclays has been repeatedly targeted in recent weeks by Palestine Action, with over 20 branches visited by the direct action network so far. Many of those branches remain shut. Last month, JP Morgan slashed their stake in Elbit by 70% – likely due to Elbit’s decreasing share price and the increased campaign pressure. However, activists have made it clear that “actions will continue until they fully divest from Elbit Systems”. In recent weeks, JP Morgan has been targeted in ItalyPortugalManchesterEdinburgh and now Leeds. 

A Palestine Action spokesperson said:

“Whilst the Gaza genocide rages on, our actions against the zionist war machine and those who fund it will continue to intensify. There is no more time to waste on begging institutions to end their complicity. Ultimately, banks reduce Palestinian lives to profit on their accounts. As finance is the only language they understand, we will ensure they understand the full cost of investing in Israel’s weapons trade.”

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NOTES TO EDITORS

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact media@palestineaction.org

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking action against the sites of Elbit Systems and other companies complicit in Israeli apartheid, calling for all such sites to be shut down.