Palestine Action Shut Down Elbit Shenstone: Drone Engine Makers Occupied Again

Feb 27, 2024

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This morning, activists from Palestine Action returned once again to Staffordshire to inflict a blow to Israel’s arms trade, by shutting down the factory responsible for making their drone engines. As the death toll from the genocidal campaign being waged against Gaza surpasses 30,000, activists have this morning locked themselves to the gates of the factory on Lynn Lane, WS140DT, preventing all entry and operations to render the site redundant and unable to manufacture weaponry for war crimes. The activists have established protest contingent around the gates to maintain the blockade of the site ahead of a locally-convened regular protests outside the gates.

UAV Engines, Shenstone, is owned and operated by Israel’s largest weapons company. From this site, Elbit manufacture the Wankel-type or AR-80-1010 rotary engines used in their Hermes drone fleet – currently being flown above the skies of Gaza and linked to documented war crimes by the Israeli military [1]. The company have long maintained that it does not export from Shenstone to Israel – but export information obtained by Freedom of Information request shows a number of export licenses granted for Israel granted under the ML10 category for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or components therefor [23].

The premises have been hit multiple times over the past 3 and a half years by Palestine Action, in a serious of intensive actions that have seen the site blockaded numerous times, occupied, and dismantled [456], as mobilisation seeks to ensure that murderous equipment does not make its way to the occupation regime from Staffordshire.

The action comes amidst continued governmental refusals to halt arms transfers to Israel, despite the well-established role that Western-made weapons are being used to commit war crimes, and despite a growing international consensus against arming the occupation regime [7]. With this blockade, activists have imposed a direct action arms-embargo on the murderous Zionist state. 

A Palestine Action spokesperson has stated:

For the last 140 days, Elbit’s drones, munitions, arms and military technologies have been used to slaughter Palestinians in their thousands – but the company has a far longer history of facilitating atrocities. It is abhorrent that they are still allowed to operate in Britain.

Today activists have taken the matter into their own hands to halt the corrupt, bloodthirsty industry fuelling death from Britain’s towns.”