London (QNN)- More than 2,000 people staged a funeral procession to the gates of a BAE Systems factory in Lancashire in London yesterday, in memory of more than 60 children killed in Israel’s recent aggression on the Gaza Strip.
Children from local communities carried dozens of small coffins representing the children who were killed in the aggression to the gates of the factory in Samlesbury, outside Blackburn, where BAE makes vital parts for F-35 fighter jets supplied to ‘Israel’ by the United States.
The jets were used in Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza which killed more than 250 Palestinians, including 67 children and 41 women and injured 1,910 others.
Also, more than 90,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes, and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and many residential buildings were completely destroyed or levelled.
Health centres, media offices, as well as schools were among the structures targeted during the 11-days of constant bombardment.
The coffins were then placed at the factory gates by children.
Each tiny coffin bore a photograph of one of the children killed in Gaza.
The protest was organised by the Lancashire Peace Forum and supported by Friends of Al Aqsa and Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
Photographs of the children killed in Gaza also adorned a large banner which protesters fixed to the factory gates, and balloons were released in their memory.
One of the protest organisers, Hanif Dudhwala, said: “During the month of May over 60 children were mercilessly martyred by the Israeli army in Palestine, attacking from the air using fighter jets and Apache helicopters. These weapons of mass destruction are made with components manufactured in the UK.”
Asif Mahmoud of the Lancashire Peace Forum spoke out against Israel’s “continuous atrocities” and “gross violation of human rights.”
He said that Israel’s actions had been condemned by the United Nations as “collective punishment,” and slammed Israel’s “apartheid policies that clearly discriminate against Arabs living in Israel, treating them as second-class citizens.
“In today’s world, no human being must be living under such conditions, let alone for the past 70-plus years,” he said.
“It is time the international community, including our UK government and corporates such as BAE, recognised their obligations and stop supporting and arming an apartheid state.
“As a starting point, the international community, including the UK, must compel Israel to cease all settlement activity, dismantle all settlements and move its civilians from occupied territory.
“We also call upon BAE to stop supplying components of the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme.
“The UK industry produces 15 per cent of the components of every F-35, which was used in the assault against Gaza a few days ago, indiscriminately killing over 200 civilians, including 63 children.
“BAE Systems must stop supporting the continued oppression and occupation of the Palestinian people and display its corporate ethics.
“We will continue our demonstrations until BAE Systems stops arming the Israeli state.”
(Source / 05.06.2021)