The British bank Barclays has come under fire for its holdings in Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company and the main supplier of drones used to attack and kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The bank is the named owner of $2.9 million worth of shares in Elbit.More than 1.7 million people have signed a petition calling on Barclays to divest from “projects that finance illegal settlements and the oppressive occupation of the Palestinian people” and campaigners have occupied and protested at bank branches across the UK.
Elbit’s share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s summer massacre in Gaza, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, including some 500 children.
The company advertises its products as “combat proven” and recently reported a backlog in orders worth $6.2 billion.
Through its holdings in Elbit Systems, Barclays is profiting directly from Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure. Such targeting has been described by Amnesty International and Palestinian human rights organizations as amounting to war crimes.
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