OVER 100 trade unionists from protest group Palestine Action have blocked access to factories in the UK with alleged connections to Israel.

Workers launched two separate protests at Leicester factories in the city's Meridian Business Park with the aim of disrupting the flow of weapons to Israel early on Thursday morning.

The protest group stormed the roof of Howmet Fastening Systems in the business park, around the corner from their repeat target of UAV Tactical Systems - which activists have also disrupted by locking themselves to their gates.

The group shared on Twitter/X images of workers on the roof of the factory, writing: "Actionists occupy the roof and smash Leicester’s Howmet weapons factory."

They claimed: "By shutting down the death merchants, they’ve prevented crucial parts for Israel’s war planes being used in the genocide of Gaza."

The protest group, which has taken part in a number of disruptive actions against UAV Tactical Systems in the past two years, say that Howmet has been targeted due to their "proud boasts of the use of its fastening systems in building the F-35 Lightning II".

UAV Tactical Systems is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems UK, which in turn is a subsidiary of Israel-based international defence electronics company Elbit Systems.

A separate protest took place on Thursday morning at Instro Precision in Kent, which involved a 100-person blockade of the factory, which they claim is Israeli-owned.

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This action included members of Unite, Unison, the National Education Union (NEU), the University and College Union (UCU), the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union (BFAWU).

Organisers said the action shows the kind of leverage workers can have when we organise together.

They added in a statement a call to workers to "come together across workplaces to organise more protests like the one today to shut down arms factories and immediately stop the flow of arms to Israel".

It is understood that multiple lorries and vans were turned away from the site, unable to make deliveries to Elbit factory. One lorry was reportedly abandoned inside the factory grounds by its driver after trying both exits.