Manchester Jewish group join protest at Birmingham Israeli weapons factory

A Manchester-based Jewish group has declared its support for ‘Block the Factory’  a national demonstration taking place today at an Israeli weapons factory in Birmingham.

This week marks a year since the Israeli invasion of Gaza and people from all aross the UK will return to Elbit Systems – a drone-manufacturing factory which was occupied by activists last year at the summit of the attacks.

The newly-established Manchester Jewish action for Palestine group will take part in the event that is scheduled to take place in a manner of ‘creative action’, aiming to transform the area around the factory from a site of destruction, into a fun, creative and child-friendly environment.

A group spokeswoman, who did not wish to be named, highlighted the devastation of the attack which took place last year.

“By the end of the 51-day assault, over 2,200 Palestinians were dead, including 490 children,” she said. 

“20,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed, 500,000 Palestinians were displaced and Gaza is still struggling to pick up the pieces.

“We will also never forget the 4 boys who were killed as they played football on the beach and Salem from Shajiyah who was shot as he searched for his friend in the rubble after an air strike.”

Drones produced by the factory form just one part of the high-tech weapons offensive that devastated the 360km region where 1.8 million Palestinians live. 

The attack damaged or destroyed 62 hospitals and clinics, 45 ambulances, 250 Palestinian schools and the only civilian power plant in Gaza. 23 medical workers were killed as a result.

Groups and campaigners from across the UK are returning to the factory, which also produces systems for military aircraft and helicopters, armed remote control boats and land vehicles, to demand that the UK stops arming Israel.

The group member insisted that despite reduced media coverage, the issues in Gaza are still a huge problem.

“One year later, Gaza is not in the headlines anymore, but the people are still being systematically oppressed and denied fundamental human rights,” she said.

“We call on all people of conscience to stand up for justice and equality and to support the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

The demonstration will show full support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that pressures Israel to comply with international law.

You can find out further information about the Manchester Jewish action for Palestine group by clicking here

Image courtesy of Amir Farshad Ebrahimi via FlickR, with thanks.

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