Palestine Action protestors blockade Instro Precision at Discovery Park

Instro Precision factory blockade

Activists from Palestine Action have blockaded Elbit Systems Instro Precision factory in Sandwich.

The activists split into two groups to block both entrances to Discovery Park, and attached themselves to each other using lock on devices to obstruct all possible access. At the main entrance, red paint was also sprayed across the road and pedestrian entrance path.

This is the second recent action targeting the factory, after more than 150 trade unionists from ‘Workers for Free Palestine’ picketed the factory entrances a fortnight ago.

Protestors say the company supplies Israel with weapons, including weapons sights for infantry and heavy artillery, to kill Palestinian people in Gaza.

Instro Precision, which is owned by Israeli military company Elbit Systems, says it is a supplier and system integrator of support equipment for military and commercial electro-optical sensors in the world. It says it  supplies ‘high precision military equipment’ and specialises in support equipment like tripods and manual pan and tilt heads for military observation equipment. Instro produces observation, surveillance and targeting systems.

In 2019 the firm moved to Discovery Park from Broadstairs, where it had been the target of numerous protests. There have also been several protests at its site in Discovery Park.

The demonstration today comes amid escalated conflict in the Gaza Strip which broke out between Hamas in Palestine and Israel last month.

At least 9,770 people have been killed in nearly a month of Israeli strikes, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

In Israel, more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians, have been killed and some 3,300 others injured, according to the Israeli Ministry of Health after armed Hamas groups from the Gaza Strip launched an unprecedented attack against Israel on 7 October.

75 Comments

  1. So where was ‘Rent a Mob’ protesting when 1,400 innocent Israeli people were killed and over 200 taken prisoner, or is that an inconvenient fact best forgotten?

    • “Rent a Mob” appears to be thriving on the West Bank, where armed gangs are throwing civilians out of their homes at gun point.

      • Andrew you know nothing about it, so stop pretending in your head that you do. When you have lived in any part of Isreal or Palestine we might listen to your opinions

        • It’s a statement of fact, not an opinion.
          And you have absolutely no idea of where I have lived or haven’t lived, nor of my understanding of the situation in the Middle East.

        • So we mustn’t listen to or read anybody’s comments on this subject unless they’ve lived in Israel or Palestine. Or have I misinterpreted “Trete”‘s comment?

  2. These idiots need to be arrested for obstruction and criminal damage.
    Then sent on an educational history lesson to understand the reality of the Palestine / Israel situation.
    And the author should know that Hamas is not a Palestinian Militia, it is a Terrorist Organisation operating in the Gaza Strip.

          • National Intelligence description “HAMAS–the acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement)—is the largest and most capable militant group in the Palestinian territories.” Many outlets use the word militant or just HAMAS. I’m happy to remove militant from the sentence.

  3. Don’t just stand there with your arms folded, useless police. Remove these vandals from blocking lawful access to those premises.

    • Kathy, thanks for the meaning of the acronym Hamas. A resistance movement that has every right to exist under international law, which is every people under occupation has every right to resist that occupation by any means possible.

  4. Well done, Palestine Action. Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and gets away with it only through the insane position of the United States with its financial and military might behind it. The rest of the West apes its master the US as a consequence. Shame on them.
    Hamas a terrorist organisation? No, it is Israel that has terrorised the Palestinians ever since 1948. Under international law, any people under occupation has the right to resist that occupation by any means possible. By any means possible, folks. Remember that.

    • Robert appears to support the rape, mutilation and burning alive of civilians. Hamas beheaded babies, roasted them alive in ovens, gouged out their eyes in front of their parents…is that enough detail to see what an odious terrorist organisation they are. Hamas needs to be eliminated.

      • Well done for falling hook line and sinker for The Mossad agitprop operations, BR.

        For Hamas to be eliminated, get Netanyahu to stop funding Hamas…

    • So invading a country and killing defenseless citizens, beheading children and and committing cold blooded murder against innocent unarmed people is OK then !! Or did you not hear that bit of the story ? A little bit of a one sided opinion me thinks

    • And Israel can defend its country too.
      Gaza is a strip of land governed by Palestine for Palestinians.
      Hamas is the elected governors of Gaza.
      Hamas is a terrorist organisation as prescribed by your government.
      Your final comment I understand to mean that they are justified in invading a foriegn territory and murdering and mutilating its citizens,
      that would therefore mean that you support and promote Hamas which I believe is illegal in UK.

      • “that would therefore mean that you support and promote Hamas which I believe is illegal in UK.”

        Steve, I’d be very careful about what you say that could be taken as defamatory and untrue.

    • Robert, you are sick in the head trying to justify the atrocities that Hamas committed against innocent civilians. Don’t forget also that it’s Hamas that are hiding in hospitals and refugee camps putting their own countrymen in even greater danger by using them as human shields.

    • Robert; Gaza’s population has doubled over the past twenty years. So Israel’s attempt at ‘genocide’ has been a spectacular failure.

      • Yes, I am aware of the threat of demographic changes as perceived by Israel. One of the reasons IDF members use Palestinian children as target practice on a daily basis. But the Palestinians are a resilient people.
        The West has failed them, though.

  5. So, by your logic the Israelis can turn their nukes on Gaza, Iran, Syria etc as they too have a right to defend themselves. And what are your thoughts on the fact tens of thousands took to the streets in Gaza in wild celebration of the massacre on 07th October and the following days?

  6. I do feel genuine pity for all those unwilling participants and victims of the violence that is happening in Western Asia at the moment. Something that I doubt very much most of the individuals “protesting” do. Otherwise they’d be volunteering their services to the Care N.G.O. working in the region. Instead they’re having the Socialist Worker’s Party equivalent of a busman’s holiday.
    This demo. will achieve nothing positive.

  7. Thanks, Kathy for covering this important story so fairly. It’s horrifying that we have an arms manufacturer on our doorstep and horrifying what’s going on in the Middle East. Shouldnt we all be calling for a ceasefire immediately?

    • Christine, Hamas and other Middle Eastern powers have long called for the destruction of Isreal and the eradication of all Jewish people. Until that mindset is changed there will never be peace in the Middle East.

    • Israel has the right to defend itself. Hamas started this with their atrocities on Oct 7th which were the worst since the Holocaust. If France was continuously bombarding east Kent from across the Channel and you were spending all your time in shelters you may feel differently. Incidentally, Gaza has no shelters as they have spent a lot of their international aid on weapons.

  8. It’s horrific that the entire Western world is opposed to a ceasefire. The US et al wants more mass slaughter of Palestinians. The Israelis want them liquidated, which is what they are engaged in doing.
    It was since shown that Hamas did not behead babies nor gouge out their eyes. Even pro-Israel Biden admitted it was a lie. In fact, Israel was annoyed with one of the released Israeli hostages, an elderly Jewish lady, because she shook hands with one of her captors for treating her so well. There is no evidence that the others were treated any differently.

    • They did commit those atrocities. You are wrong. There are around 200 victims they will never identify.
      Do you really think that the elderly hostage will go on TV and endanger the others? She actually said it was a hell.

  9. Well done IoTN for covering this story, the protest and the arms production on our doorstep. It’s a shame that so many contributors have so little compassion and knowledge of the conflict. Reading so much about the Hamas attack I’m clear that very little is very clear. However the response by the Israeli State is abundantly clear in its monstrous and disproportionate violence.
    Hamas is proscribed as a terrorist organisation, as was the Provisional IRA (now in Government), as was the ANC and Nelson Mandela (everyone’s hero now), as was the Maqui in France and the Jewish Partisans in the Ukranian forests. And, let’s not forget the Jews who bombed civilians in Palestine in the 1940’s, kidnapped two British Army sargeants and hung them!
    It is really unhelpful to bandy labels in a pretnece at trying to understand a political problem.
    While Israel steals land from Palestinians, allows settlers to murder home owners so they can take the land, refuses to accept the right of return for refugees it created and refuses to protect its citizens and those people in occupied territories it is going to get protest. While it meets peaceful protest with live ammunition it is stupid to expect some people to not respond in kind.
    How is it that Hamas succeeded in breaking through the most monitored and highly defended fence in the world? How is it that the Israeli State failed to respond to the attack for many, many hours, even when hundreds of its soldiers were being killed during this time?
    Something stinks about this whole affair, and it’s not just the stench of 10,000 murdered people in Gaza.

  10. You can feel empathy for the Palestinian people without supporting Hamas. I abhor what Hamas have done but I also abhor what Israel are doing to innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. That’s a perfectly reasonable line to take.

  11. Even the BBC describes Hamas as a proscribed terrorist organisation by the UK government, but Kathy doesn’t seem to want to add that into the article.

    • Ha ha ha … Even the BBC says so. The BBC is a corrupt one-sided propaganda machine in favour of the Israeli point of view. Totally discredited as a neutral observer. If it says Hamas is a terrorist organisation you can bet the opposite would be true. It is a resistance movement.

      • The BBC is no friend of Israel which is why I said even they say the Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation.
        They have a history of anti Israel bias so I’m not sure which BBC you’ve been listening to?

        • The entire mainstream media is pro-Israel, without exception. Thus, it is biased. Real opposing opinions are not tolerated, as such.
          I would guess that you think anything less than lauditory re Israel is anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist. Any criticism is to be deplored and so on.

    • I’m reporting a demonstration that is happening locally, not an exploration of the atrocities or parties in the conflict. I am sad that people are dying whether they are from Israel or Palestine but the article isn’t about whether I am sad, it is about a group of people protesting outside a business that is within our area.

      • They have every right to demonstrate. It is an essential freedom in our society.
        Those who oppose it are against essential freedoms.
        The fact that their cause is just is another consideration.

  12. Blind ignorance and posturing friends of Suella’s, Sunak and Starmer et al is exposed amongst some commenters, smearing their vile abuse at the expense of the people of Palestine. I hate this disgusting blood lust and no doubt the establishment banner wavers will be mawkishly honouring the dead of two world wars on Rememberance Sunday, forgetting every other conflict that has happened since. learning nothing, and calling for criminal revenge against the othered ‘proscribed’ bogeyman. With fascist Zionist supporters like this in Thanet it is clear how Hitler got away with the Official Holocaust. Sickening!

    • You are the sick one Clare. If you support the only democracy in the Middle East you are a fascist according to you and your comments on the Holocaust are disgusting. To think that servicemen and women gave their lives so that people like you can post your comments is sad beyond words. Truly disgusted by you.

      • Good for Clare for speaking the truth. You do yourself no favours, Broadstairs resident, by repeatedly calling people sick simply because they take a different view. Nor by claiming to be disgusted.
        The only democracy in the Middle East? Then why do Arabs in Israel have no ownership rights and are forbidden to marry Jews. Come off it,they call Israel a Jewish state for Jewish people. Any Jew in the world can claim Israeli citizenship yet Palestinians can not live in their ancestral homes. If that is democracy then I’m a Dutchman.

  13. t is disgraceful that our 2 principal parties do not condemn the arms manufacturers Elbit ‘s presence near Sandwich . This firm depends on customers such the Zionist goverment for its productiom of arms which are used to kill. and maim innocent people

    • Yes Martin lets have someone else make the instruments of war or at least make them somewhere else and put more thanet people on benefits.

        • Is it ok if they make weapons to defend you, Robert Edwards or is it only Israel you have a problem with?

          • I don’t need anyone to make weapons for me. The issue is an Israeli firm making weapons in Thanet for the purpose of the massacre of many thousands of Palestinian men, women and children in Gaza, denying them food and water, etc. It is all Old Testament gory stuff concerning extermination and land grab. It is too obscene for words. As are you.

  14. I don’t think this is getting us anywhere.
    HAMAS committed an atrocity of an appalling magnitude.Just how bad is a matter of conjecture as no independent witnesses have seen what happened.What we can say is that the BBC verified some of the evidence.
    I doubt very much that the IDF can winkle out HAMAS To do so will cost many Israeli lives, and many more Palestinian civilian lives, Even some success can be achieved what then?
    Who will run Gaza? Fatah? The UN? A coalition of Arab states? Israel?
    There are two conflicting issues here.
    The first is at some time,and the sooner better, Israel will have to talk to those it abhors,be they HAMAS or anyone else,after all they have diplomatic relations with a country that killed 6 million Jews 80 years ago. The UK has talked to terrorists many times in the past.
    The other issue is the bombardment of Gaza.In 1945 the Red army unleashed massive artillery and air attacks on Berlin.Was that an atrocity as the Nazis were imbedded in bunkers underground.The Soviets did crush the Nazis, but did they expunge Nazism? I would hold that they did not,and the same will apply in Gaza.
    I believe that both these statements are valid, but which one you support depends on your viewpoint.
    In my view we should say as little as possible to reduce further inflammation.
    The UK has culpability in this dating back to 1916 with the Sykes-Picot agreement and the 1917 Balfour declaration,and our best policy would be to counsel peace, diplomacy and time to pause,think and give sustenance.
    If the destruction continues Israel will be no safer, and the cycle of violence will continue.
    Nobody has the moral high ground here.

  15. Israel will not stop until they have taken control and ownership of Gaza and the west bank and enclose and exclude all non Jews. And the blame will be everyone but themselves. History has not been learnt but twisted to suit themselves and justified

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