Thursday, 19 February 2015

‘Complicit in Gaza’s misery’: Pro-Palestine activists shut down UK arms factory

An arms factory in southeast England was occupied by activists on Tuesday morning in protest against its sales to Israel and Afghanistan. Protesters say the company is complicit in “Gaza’s misery,” where 2,137 Palestinians were killed last summer.

Instro Precision Ltd in Kent was besieged by activists at 5am on Tuesday, who occupied and shut down the factory.

Taking to the roof, campaigners unfurled a banner demanding Instro “stop arming Israel.” Four protesters remained on the building’s roof, while 10 stood at ground level.

The firm manufactures high-tech camera systems used in drones that have been deployed in Israel and Afghanistan. Located near the coastal town of Broadstairs, Kent, it is a subsidiary of Israeli arms company Elbit Systems.

Elbit’s drones have been deployed by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) to kill countless Palestinian civilians in Gaza, according to UK think tank Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

The think tank adds the camera technology is used in Israel’s “apartheid wall,” and in drones flown across Afghanistan. more

Israeli forces open fire at farmers near Gaza border

Israeli forces on Wednesday evening opened fire at Palestinian farmers near the border east of the town of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip.

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers stationed at the border opened fire at the farmers as they were standing in their farmland, forcing them to flee the area.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment.

Witnesses told Ma'an that similar shooting incidents have recently been occurring on an almost daily basis along the Gaza border.

Israeli forces have repeatedly opened fire on Palestinian civilians near the border in the five months since the signing of a ceasefire agreement that ended a more than 50-day assault by Israel on Gaza that left around 2,200 dead and 11,000 injured.

The attacks come despite Israeli promises at the end of the ceasefire that restrictions on Palestinian access to the border region would be lessened.