One week until the siege on Leicester’s Israeli Arms Factory begins

Apr 24, 2023

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From May 1st 2023, Palestine Action will lay siege upon the Leicester-based Israeli arms factory, UAV Tactical Systems, a factory operated by Israel’s largest weapons company, Elbit Systems. Hundreds of people, from the Leicester community and from across Britain and Europe, will unite to #ShutElbitDown, having vowed to refuse to leave the site until Elbit does [1]. Palestine Action encourage reporters from local, national and international outlets to attend the siege and to cover the mass action against Elbit’s weapons factory in Leicester. 

Palestine Action have spent weeks touring the country with rapper-activist Lowkey and weapons trade expert Andrew Feinstein, to inform, engage and mobilise people to gather en masse from May 1st. The mass action will maintain pressure on Elbit’s UAV Tactical Systems factory, as diverse groups of people have joined to  #ShutElbitDown and work towards ending British complicity in Israeli colonialism and apartheid.

The ‘siege’ turns the tables on the colonial Israeli government, who have been besieging Gaza with the help of Elbit Systems’ range of munitions, drones, surveillance and military technologies [2]. The flagship product made in Leicester by UAV Tactical Systems is the Watchkeeper drone. The Watchkeeper is modelled on Israel’s Elbit-made Hermes drone, which has been extensively deployed during assaults on Gaza [3]. Additionally, the Watchkeeper drone is also used by the British Army and Border Force and has accumulated 100,000 hours of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, while under British control.

UAV Tactical Systems also holds export licenses for the sale, to Israel, of drone systems, target acquisition/surveillance systems, electronics equipment, and other military technologies [4]. Freedom of Information disclosures also show the company supplies Israel with infrared or thermal imaging equipment, and components for military grade ground vehicles.

To date, the direct action campaign against Elbit has forced Israel’s largest arms firm to lose their London Headquarters, Oldham arms factory, and over £280million in contracts with the Ministry of Defence. In a new front to the campaign, the siege will allow for hundreds to join in a mass action against Israel’s largest arms firm. For more information about the siege, please visit, and contact with any questions regarding reporting, spokespersons, images and footage, and any other content requirements.


Palestine Action is a network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking action against Elbit Systems’ British locations, working towards an end to Elbit and British complicity in the colonisation of Palestine.

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


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