Title image courtesy of Vladimir Morozov – Palestine Action at Teledyne Factory

While Israel is accused of committing war crimes with impunity, activists face prison for targeting weapons factories here in the UK which manufacture drones used in the occupied territories.

Palestine Action’s campaign against UK sites associated with Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems began three years ago, and currently seven of their supporters are in prison.

Four have been on remand since last December after an action against the Teledyne factory in Wales, linked with hi-tech military exports to Israel. In their recent trial at Caernafon Crown Court, three were persuaded to plead guilty in return for shorter sentences (23 months), and the fourth was denied several legal defences, found guilty and sentenced to 27 months.

In May, sentences of 16 and 23 months were handed to two activists who took had taken action against the APPH factory in Runcorn.

Rafael is another supplier of weapons to Israel, and their Pearson Engineering subsidiary in Newcastle was the target of an action in May. Several accused of conspiracy were remanded at the time, but one activist remains in prison while others are now out on bail.

Palestine Action say that more than a hundred activists currently face trials which could result in prison sentences.

While Israel attacks refugee camps, tightens its grip on illegally occupied territories, and targets and murders journalists with impunity, more than seventy prominent figures have signed a letter calling for the release of what they see as political prisoners, and asking for charges to be dropped against those acting against manufacturers of weapons used illegally by Israel.

Here is the full statement [originally published by Middle East Monitor].

Full list of Signatories:
Mohammed El-Kurd (writer and journalist), Farah Nabulsi (Filmmaker), Ghada Karmi, Noura Erakat (Professor),  Susan Abulhawa (novelist), Michael Malarkey (actor), Roger Waters (musician), Lowkey (rapper and activist), Alexei Sayle, Richard Sanders (TV Producer), Rabab Abdulhadi (Professor), Moazzam Begg (CAGE Director), Adhaf Soueif(Novelist), Paul Laverty (Screenwriter and lawyer), Nicolas Jaar (musician), Aki Kaurismaki (Film director and screenwriter), Tayo Aluko (Actor, singer, writer), James Kennedy (Musician and author), John King (Composer-Musician), Daniel Mejia, Ashok Kumar (Associate Professor), Ahmed Eldin (Journalist), Matt Kennard (Journalist), Asa Winstanley (Journalist and author), Katie Halper (Journalist), Frank Barat, Steven Salatia, Andrew Feinstein (writer), Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela (South African MP), Busisiwe Tshwete (South African MP), Mick Wallace (MEP), Clare Daly (MEP),   Chris Williamson (Former MP), Franck Magennis (Barrister), Robert Lizar (Solicitor), Robert Frank Atkins (Solicitor), Saskia O’Hara (Legal Caseworker), Melinda Janki (Lawyer), Tim Crosland (Plan B Director), David L. Mandel (Human Rights Attorney), Richard P Koch (Attorney-at-Law), Michael Deutsch (Human Rights Attorney), Michael Letwin (Former President, Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325), Mark Stern (Lawyer), Suzanne Adely (National Lawyers Guild), Fahad Ansari (Solicitor), Mireille Fanon Mendes France (Co-chair of Frantz Fanon Foundation), Dr Gail Bradbrook (Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion), Jill Clark-Gollub (Black Alliance for Peace Solidarity Network), David Thomas (Academic), Seunghoon Paik (Researcher), Michael Noble (Professor), Nadia Edmond (Academic), Kareem Rabie (Anthropologist), Bikrum Gill (Assistant Professor), Martin Smith (Retired doctor), Nick Thoburn (Professor), David Miller (Academic, writer, producer), Helyeh Doutaghi (Law Academic), Matteo Capasso (Academic), Charlotte Kates (Samidoun), Khaled Barakat (Palestinian writer), Frances Hasso (Professor), Andrew Ross (Professor), Corinna Mullin (Academic), Max Ajl (Researcher), Mohammed Dalbah (Journalist and author), Dr Issam Hijjawi, Robin D.G. Kelley (Writer/Professor), Marjorie Cohn (Professor), Heike Schotten (Professor), Ken Montenegro, Peter Desrochers (Academic Coordinator).