Arrests after fresh pro-Palestinian protest at Leicester drone factory

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ProtestImage source, Neil Terry
Image caption,
The protest started shortly after 04:00 BST

Three people have been arrested after a new protest at a drone factory.

Members of campaign group Palestine Action blocked the entrance of the Israeli-owned Elbit Systems subsidiary UAV Tactical Systems in Leicester shortly after 04:00 BST.

Two men, 28 and 58, from Leicester, and a 19-year-old man from Burton-on-Trent were arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

The factory was the scene of a six-day rooftop occupation in May.

Image source, Guy Smallman
Image caption,
A six-day roof top occupation was held in May at the same site

Police said the three suspects were currently in custody.

Officers also confirmed a number of protesters later gathered outside the factory on Meridian Business Park but left a short time later.

Campaigners allege unmanned aerial vehicles built at the facility have been used in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

At least 260 people were killed in Gaza during 11 days of fighting in May.

Palestinians had said they were suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions, including the threatened eviction of some families in East Jerusalem.

Israel said it was only acting to protect itself from Palestinian violence.

It culminated in clashes at al-Aqsa, a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. After warning Israel to withdraw, Hamas began firing rockets, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

The same month four people in red boiler suits climbed on to the roof of the UAV Tactical Systems factory and sprayed red paint on one of its walls.

The firm has been invited to comment.

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