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Pro-Palestine protesters block UK arms fair sponsored by Israel’s Elbit Systems

Since 2015, Britain has licensed more than $602 million worth of military exports to Israel, including components for combat aircraft, missiles, tanks, technology, small arms and ammunition, according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade group.
Palestine protesters

BRISTOL, UK — Scores of pro-Palestinian protesters blocked two entrances to a military arms conference in Bristol, West England, on Tuesday, where one of Israel’s largest weapons companies is a main sponsor. The demonstrations delayed some participants' entry to the event, which proceeded as planned.

The Future Indirect Fires conference is being held at Ashton Gate Stadium, where Bristol City FC soccer team play, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team and its parent company Bristol Sport, which runs Bristol City and events at the stadium, have faced mounting criticism from fans and activists for hosting the fair.

The location and details around the event — where delegate passes cost £1,499 ($1,906) — had been kept secret for security reasons. The UK-based arm of Elbit Systems, one of Israel’s largest arms companies, is a “silver sponsor” of the event, which has also attracted other UK-based arms companies including BAE Systems.

Both Elbit Systems and BAE Systems have regional offices in the Bristol area and are exhibiting at the event. The two companies produce weapons, drones and military systems that have been used in Israel’s war in Gaza.

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