LONDON: A drone factory in the British city of Leicester has been occupied by pro-Palestinian demonstrators over its links to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
UAV Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of Israeli defense firm Elbit Systems and French aerospace company Thales, allegedly manufactures Hermes drones at the site in Leicester’s Meridian Business Park, which have been used by the IDF in its operations in Gaza.
The protesters, who call themselves Palestine Action and who scaled the roof of the complex on Wednesday, said they were seeking to stop the “production of arms and military technology.” They added that they planned “to be as disruptive as possible.”
Leicestershire Police on Wednesday said they were “continuing to negotiate” with the demonstrators, and had allowed another pro-Palestine group to engage in “peaceful” protest at the site.
A firefighters union representing members called to the scene said: “The Fire Brigades Union were made aware that the protesters were representing the Palestinian solidarity group Palestine Action. Union officials immediately reminded senior managers that as firefighters we are, and remain, a proud humanitarian service. Once the safety of those involved have been confirmed, Fire Brigades Union members withdrew from the incident.”
Since the current round of violence began, over 227 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and more than 1,600 wounded by IDF operations. Hamas and other militant groups have fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel, killing 12 people.