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February 18, 2015 9:31 am

Anti-Israel Activists Force Shutdown of Israeli Arms Factory in the UK

avatar by Shiryn Solny

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Anti-Israel activists forced the shutdown of an Israel-owned arms factory in Kent. Photo: Tumblr.

Anti-Israel activists forced the shutdown of an Israeli-owned arms factory in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, claiming the company helped build drones used in Israel’s recent war against Hamas terrorists aimed at halting rocket fire from Gaza, the International Business Times reported.

Several anti-Israel demonstrators climbed the roof of the Instro Precision building in Broadstairs, Kent and hung banners declaring “Stop Elbit” and “Elbit Drones Murder!” referring to Instro’s owner Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest defense company.

Palestinian flags were also held up, as well as a sign that read “Stop arming Israel.” Among the demonstrators on the ground was one chained to the factory’s fence, IBT noted.

The factory, which employs around 70 people, has been closed since the protest started early Tuesday morning, IBT said.

A local police spokesman said, “Kent Police is currently monitoring a reported protest taking place at the Pysons Road Industrial Estate in Broadstairs,” according to Kent Online. “As with all such events, the primary role of Kent Police is to facilitate peaceful protest, which is lawful, whilst also ensuring public safety and minimizing any disruption. Resources will be deployed as necessary and appropriate.”

Instro’s website describes the company as “one of the leading suppliers and system integrators of support equipment for military and commercial electro-optical sensors in the world today.”

“Instro products have been proven in forward observation, surveillance and reconnaissance missions by the military, paramilitary and civilian customers of more than 50 countries,” it says.

Research group Corporate Watch claims that 85 percent of drones used by the Israeli military are manufactured by Elbit, IBT reported.

The Israeli-owned arms factory in Kent is the second Elbit-linked company targeted by anti-Israel activists in the UK. Demonstrators successfully occupied a drone engine factory near Birmingham last summer, according to Middle East Monitor. Prosecution against the protesters was dropped at the last minute when Elbit declined to give evidence about its weapons exports to Israel.

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  • American

    Wooohooooo!!!!! GO BDS, FREE PALESTINE!!!!

  • Jim H

    The drones Elbit makes are not defensive, but are used to maintain the occupation and blockade of a land that does not belong to Israel.

    Despite the use of ‘precision weapons’ like drones, 50% of the victims of Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were women and children and more than 80% were known to be non-fighters.

  • cba

    Does “lawful protest” now include trespassing on private property? Or only in certain* cases?

    *And we all know what characteristic is required for those “certain cases”

  • z

    “Anti-Israel activists”?
    Is this another BBC propaganda piece?

    Why not call them what they are:
    Jihadistani hooligans and criminal supporters of murderous Jihadi imperialism!

  • al sheeber

    After P.M Cameron came crawling on 4 to Il, begging for Israeli start-up & technologies, it appears that Israel could be better off exporting its knowledge to safe and more secure destinations, China ? USSR? Canada? The Brits lost grip of heir own country-the fast track to the toilet began before WW2- it takes a while, this is what in the EU is considered fun! The Brabarians used to send their pirate ships to snatch Brits, irish and Italians hundred years ago, now they are in the U.K, crapping all over the joint, terrorizing the population, destabilizing their economy!

  • Solomon’s Temple, Israeli Empire

    These bds spoiled brats are part of a bigger organisation of bds, euro- and islamo-nazi money.

    Their target is Israel and the US allies. Therefore our targets are them. Their activities are against the laws in Britain. The white-collar bds people use the legal tactic of the anti-US approach using “democratic voting” machinery to intimidate and coerce neo-liberal, often phoney liberal people to add to their cause.

    Israel is the home of the Third Temple and a new phase for the Levant with Kurdistan and other countries building their power.

    The losers are Jimmy Cartar, and his ilk, the Saudis and their henchmen.

  • Can I suggest a next stop for these concerned activists? I think they should call for the UK to disarm, or at least shut down, its drone program.

    The UK conducted 300 drone strikes in Afghanistan. One of those drone strikes killed 100 people.

    I’m not so up-to-date on the UK’s security situation, but as far as I know Afghanistan did not fire rockets at London, Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds. In comparison, Gazans fired 4,005 rockets at Israel during the first eight months of 2014.

    • American

      Stop stealing Palestinian land and you might have a little peace. 🙂

  • victoria brandeis



  • JeffB

    Elbit needs to get better political connections in th UK. Last time the prosecutor was so obviously on the protestor’s side. This time the police seem to be doing nothing.

    • American

      BDS is gaining strength. Get ready to return the land you have stolen. 🙂

  • A Sanders

    Will these same protestors shut down this factory if Great Britain ever comes under the threat of an attack. I think not. So why protest over another country trying to defend itself from evil forces.