After a fourteen day trial, a group of activists known as the Thales Ten (members of Glasgow Palestine Action) received their verdict in Glasgow Sheriff Court last week. Five were convicted, and five acquitted, of the crime of breach of the peace. The group scaled onto the roof and blockaded entrances to the Thales UK factory on 23rd September, 2014 in response to the war in Gaza. They hung a fifty foot Palestine flag and several banners. One read: ‘Another Scotland is Possible: Stop Arming Israel’.
Human Rights Watch documented 87 killings through drone strikes on the Gaza Strip during the Israeli named ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008-9. Thales manufacture components for Israeli drones at the plant in Glasgow. According to their own trade regulations, the UK is not allowed to sell arms to countries that violate international law. Concerning arms sales, criterion six of the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria compels the British government to take into account the buyer’s respect for international law. The United Nations mandated Goldstone Report, investigating the conduct of the belligerents during ‘Operation Cast Lead’, contained damning evidence of Israel’s violations of international law.