CORRECTS DEATH TOLL, PLACE IN SUB-HEADING 3; CORRECTS SOURCES IN PARAGRAPH 9; PLUS OTHER EDITS
LONDON (AA) – A pro-Palestine activist group on Monday accused British police of using “inhumane” tactics to end its ongoing protest for the past six days at a drone factory in Leicester which they say is producing drones for Israel.
The UK-based Palestine Action occupied the roof of the Elbit-Thales UAV Tactical Systems drone factory in Braunstone Town since May 19 in a bid to “disrupt” the production at the factory.
“[…] Activists [are] escalating disruption in order to further harm Elbit’s profits and prevent any more UK-made drones from being used to commit war crimes in Palestine and elsewhere,” the group said in a press release.
“Prior to the occupation which began on 5:30 am Wednesday 19th May, the site produced the Hermes and Watchkeeper drones which have been directly linked to the targeting and killing of children in Gaza,” the Palestine Action said.
– 2 people attempting to aid activists arrested
The group members accused the local police of using “inhumane” tactics by blocking other groups and public members who try to bring food and water to the protesters who are still on the roof of a factory unit.
The group said: “On Thursday, police arrested two supporters attempting to provide water and supplies to activists, in a failed attempt to intimidate and break the resolve of activists.
“Two activists have stepped down from the occupation in order that the remaining two may better ration supplies and continue the occupation for as long as is humanly possible. The occupation of the site already constitutes the longest continuous occupation undertaken by Palestine Action.”
Palestine Action describes itself as “a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against Elbit Systems’ UK locations at grassroots level, calling for them all to be shut down and for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.”
– Some 280 killed in Gaza Strip, West Bank
At least 279 Palestinians have been killed – 248 in Gaza and 31 in the West Bank – including 39 women and 66 children, and more than 1,900 others injured in Israeli attacks since May 10, according to Palestinian health authorities. Health centers, media offices, and residential neighborhoods were among the sites targeted.
Recent tensions that started in East Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan spread to Gaza as a result of Israeli assaults on worshippers at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. In 1980 it annexed the entire city, a move never recognized by the international community.