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Activists Target Britain's Defense Ministry Over Arms Sales To Israel

11.04.2024 05:42

Palestine Action and Youth Demand groups accuse defense ministry of 'murders'

A group of pro-Palestine activists sprayed red paint on the UK Ministry of Defense's London headquarters Wednesday to protest arms sales to Israel.

The joint action was carried out by members of the groups Palestine Action and Youth Demand, who called on both the Conservative and Labour parties to commit to imposing a two-way arms embargo on Israel.

"This ministry does not defend, it murders…We no longer accept the continuation of this death project as the UK allows the funding of arms to Israel," said Youth Demand, sharing video footage from the protest on X.

Palestine Action said on X that the ministry gives contracts worth hundreds of millions of British pounds "to Elbit Systems and train the Israeli military."

"The Ministry of Defense is drenched in the color of Palestinian bloodshed spilt by their ongoing dealings with the Israeli military and Elbit Systems," it added.

The footage also showed police officers arresting the protesters on the scene.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said the Armed Forces "can't and won't be intimidated."

Calling the activists "cowardly criminals," Shapps said on X that he is "glad to see (them) arrested."

Quoting the secretary's post, Youth Demand said: "Ah Yes Shapps, 5 people with some red paint are the real criminals, not those allowing the massacre of children, aid workers and doctors."

Separately, Palestine Action targeted electronic components supplier Avnet's facility in Waltham Park, Berkshire early Wednesday over supplying "electronics for Elbit's weaponry and F-35 fighter jets used by the Israeli military."

Images shared on X showed the building's facade spray-painted and with broken windows.

Elbit Systems Elbit Systems, Israel's largest arms manufacturer, supplies 85% of the land and air munitions used by its military.

Israel has waged a military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas which killed around 1,200 people.

Around 33,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the war began.​​​​​​​

It has also imposed a crippling blockade on the seaside enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while much of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has urged it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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