Skip to main content

UK: Pro-Palestine activists celebrate 'victory' after sale of Israeli Elbit arms factory

Palestine Action claims its sustained 18-month campaign, which resulted in 'millions' of pounds worth of damages, is the reason behind the sale
Palestine Action activists during a protest at Elbit's Oldham factory in the UK (Credit: Palestine Action)

Palestine Action celebrated victory after Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems UK publicly announced on Monday that it sold its Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham.

While Elbit says that the sale was part of a restructuring strategy in the United Kingdom, Palestine Action claims that their sustained protests over a period of 18 months is the reason behind the sale.

The group has sprayed the premises of the factory with blood-red paint, smashed windows and occupied the entry to the factory.

According to Palestine Action, since August 2020 when it started its protests, the Oldham factory suffered damages in the “millions”.

“Our actions have undermined and disrupted operations - but this news vindicates our long-term strategy,” said Palestine Action in a statement on Monday.

Palestine Action co-founder calls for closure of Israeli arms factories
Read More »

“Direct action works - the brave individuals who occupied the factory over the past year can proudly say that drone technologies are no longer in production in Oldham.”

The activist group said that 36 people were arrested since their campaign started but no one has been charged with a crime or prosecuted yet.  

The Elbit Ferranti factory in Oldham is one of 10 owned by Elbit in the UK. A majority of it was sold to British firm TT Electronics for $12m.

When it announced the sale, Elbit did not mention anything about Palestine Action and claims its decision was based on consolidating its position in the market.

Elbit Systems has not replied to a request for comment from Middle East Eye before publication.

The remaining parts of the company will be integrated into Elbit Systems UK.

Elbit is well known for producing drones and is responsible for 80 percent of Israel’s military drones.

The Israeli company’s products have been used to target Palestinians in Gaza and equip Israel’s apartheid wall with surveillance technology.