Skip to content
View Featured Image

Success for Palestine Action As Elbit Closes A UK Site For Good

Above photo: Palestine Action.

Direct action works.

Relentless direct action by Palestine Action has secured another victory in the fight against Israel‘s arms trade, as Elbit Systems are forced to sell their ‘Elite KL’ factory in Tamworth. Once again, it shows that direct action can have results.

Palestine Action: Success

The company had previously manufactured cooling and power management systems for military vehicles, but was sold on after stating that it faced falling profits and increased security costs resulting from Palestine Action’s efforts.

After the sale was completed last month, Elite KL’s new owners, listed as Griffin Newco Ltd, confirmed in an email to Palestine Action that they will have nothing to do with the previous owners, Elbit, and have discontinued any arms manufacturing:

Following the recent acquisition of Elite KL Limited by a UK investment syndicate, the newly appointed board has unanimously agreed to withdraw from all future defence contracts and terminate its association with its former parent company.

This victory is a direct result of sustained direct action which has sought, throughout Palestine Action’s existence, to make it impossible for Elbit to afford to operate in Britain.

Before they sold the enterprise to a private equity syndicate, Elbit had reported that Elite KL operating profits had been slashed by over three-quarters, with Palestine Action responsible: Elbit directly cited the increased expenditure on security they’d been forced to make, and higher supply chain costs they faced.

And these actions did, indeed, cost them.

Relentless Direct Action

The first action at the site, in November 2020, saw Elite KL’s premises smashed into, the building covered in blood-red paint.

Between March and July 2021, the site was put out of action three times by roof-top occupations – drenched red in March 2021, with the factory’s camera systems dismantled, before again being occupied in in May. Another roof-top occupation in July, despite increased security, saw the site forced closed – once again painted blood-red, and with its windows and fixings smashed through.

In February 2022, activists decommissioned the site for weeks – closed off after an occupation that saw over £250,000 of damages caused, the roof tiles removed one-by-one.

After this, Elbit erected a security perimeter around the site – but to no avail. One month later, six were arrested after Palestine Action returned to Tamworth – again taking the roof and smashing through, preventing the production of parts for Israel’s military machine.

End The Profiteering, Says Palestine Action

Elite KL is a ‘specialist thermal management business’. Since the sale, the company focuses on cooling systems for buses and trains, but it had, under Elbit, manufactured these systems for military vehicles.

Until December of last year, Elite KL’s website was advertising its military and defence products, and it was known to provide parts for Israel’s deadly Merkava tanks, with export license records demonstrating its provision of ‘ML6a’ components for military ground vehicles to Israel.

The company was also known to manufacture crew cooling systems, for the military vests of tank operators.

Elbit Systems itself provides 85% of the drones and land-based military equipment for the Israeli military, along with a wide range of the munitions and armaments currently being used against Gaza’s beseiged population.

Its CEO, Bazhalel Machlis, has claimed that the Israeli military has offered the company its thanks for their “crucial” services during the ongoing genocide in Gaza

A Palestine Action spokesperson said:

Each activist who occupied and dismantled Tamworth’s Elbit weapons factory did so in order to bring an end to Israel’s weapons trade, and to end the profiteering from Palestinian repression. Every defeat Elbit faces is a victory for the Palestinian people.

Kicking Elbit out of Tamworth shows once again that direct action is a necessary tactic. It is one which must be utilised and amplified in the face of the Gaza genocide.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.