Palestine Action Blockade Leicester’s Israeli Weapons Factory

May 24, 2023

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On the 24th day of Palestine Action’s siege against Leicester’s Israeli Elbit factory — UAV Tactical Systems, another blockade has successfully locked down the company’s only entrance gates in the early hours of this morning.

An immovable vehicle and two Palestine Actionists have locked-on in the road outside the perimeter fence, evading their paramilitary-style security workforce, the site’s surveillance cameras, and inhibiting the company’s ability to open by blocking staff entry.

In Leicester, and in Elbit’s 7 other remaining sites in Britain, weaponry is being manufactured and exported to Israel [1]. Leicester’s UAV Tactical Systems’ flagship product, the Watchkeeper drone, has been used extensively by the British military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and over the English Channel – the Watchkeeper is modelled on the notorious and deadly Hermes, openly marketed as ‘battle-tested’ on the captive Palestinian population [2].

Palestine Action have pledged to keep the siege outside the Israeli-owned Leicester branch running until Elbit leaves the country [3]. Having already shut down two of its ten sites in Oldham and London [4] [5], community support for the siege in Leicester is growing rapidly, causing a steady supply of locals to arrive each day. Eminent speakers and supporters who have joined include former South African politician Andrew Feinstein, who worked alongside Nelson Mandela and British rapper and activist Lowkey.

Elbit, Israel’s largest private weapons company, of which UAV Tactical Systems is a subsidiary, supplies 85% of Israel’s drones, as well as 85% of its land based military equipment. Its products, including the Hermes, have been linked to several documented assaults on the Palestinian people [6] [7].

A Palestine Action spokesperson has said:

“Since our siege began, and in just 24 days, 55 Palestinian people have been killed by the Israeli regime —at least 33 were killed in this month’s ritual bombing of Gaza, and we know that Elbit’s drones were used during this campaign. For Palestine, we will not leave until Elbit does.”


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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.