UK Recruiter Cuts Ties With Israeli Weapons Supplier Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems, a major arms manufacturer which supplies Israel’s military, has multiple factories in the UK. Palestine Action, an activist group, has targeted these facilities together with affiliated businesses such as the recruitment agency iO Associates, to protest Israel’s war on Gaza. After multiple protests against iO, the recruiter announced it would cut ties with Elbit Systems in December 2023.
“We are pleased all the job vacancies for Elbit Systems UK have been taken down. We, in Manchester, will not allow arms profiteers on our streets, least of all for Israel’s worst weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems.” – Palestine Action’s Manchester chapter
Elbit Systems, headquartered in Haifa, operates multiple factories across the UK, where it makes ammunition, aircraft equipment and drone aircraft for sale to the Israeli and UK military. Elbit drones, such as the 7.5 Skylark and the Hermes 900, have been used to monitor and target Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, according to Israeli media reports confirmed by the government.
“They literally test their weapons on the Gaza strip – where the majority of the population is children. Then they go around the world and market it as "battle tested" to other oppressive regimes, and make billions and billions in profits from the destruction of our lives and our livelihoods.” — Shahd Abusalama, Palestinian academic and refugee from Gaza
Ever since its founding in 2020, activist group Palestine Action has been staging protests against arms companies and affiliated businesses to protest Israel’s war against Palestinians. This includes targeting Elbit Systems factories in the UK as well as military recruitment companies like iO Associates, based in Bristol (UK), which regularly conducts job searches for Elbit Systems.
Activists from Palestine Action and Youth Front for Palestine stormed and occupied the offices of iO Associates in Manchester last September and October, forcing staff to evacuate. The activists also spray painted the iO Associates offices red in Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Reading.
2023 War on Gaza
In October 2023, Israel launched an all-out assault on the Gaza strip, forcing the 2 million residents to evacuate. To date, over 24,000 Palestinians have been killed. Israeli army footage of the war even highlighted the use of an Elbit Systems manufactured mortar bomb named the Iron Sting. Palestine Action responded by increasing its protest actions against Elbit Systems.
Both Elbit Systems and iO Associates initially responded to the Palestine Action protests by removing all UK job ads from the internet. Days later, the jobs ads were re-posted, but as the protests continued, iO Associates confirmed via email to Palestine Action that they ended ties with Elbit Systems. In response, Palestine Action removed iOAssociates as a target on their website.
Neither iO Associates nor Elbit Systems have commented on the subject.
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