More than 100 activists have blockaded a factory in Glasgow in protest over its ties to Israel as they call for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza strip.

A blockade is in place at the BAE Systems factory in Govan by a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in co-ordination with the organisation Workers For A Free Palestine.

They are calling on the company to cut all ties to the state of Israel and cease all weapons, defence and supplies trading with the country.

The group are also calling for the UK government to back a permanent ceasefire, and for an end to the occupation of Palestine. Both the West Bank and Gaza are defined by the UK government as occupied territories.

Simultaneous action is taking place at three other arms factories in the UK, as well as in France, Denmark and the Netherlands.

BAE produces various components of weapons which are sold to Israel, including the F35 combat aircraft and the MK 38 Mod 2 machine gun system.

In November, HMS Diamond, a ship made at BAE Govan, was deployed to the Persian Gulf in response to 'rising tensions in the Middle East', while armour for the second batch of Type 26 frigates being built at the site for the Royal Navy was provided by the Israeli defence company Plasan.

Glasgow Times:

Scottish Enterprise has given close to £10m to arms firms which supply weapons to Israel between 2016 and 2020, including £1.6m to BAE Systems.

The defence giant announced on Wednesday that it would add 300 more apprentices and graduates to its workforce in Scotland in 2024.

Those involved in the action said they were not looking to target the workers at the Govan plant, but rather the company itself.

Harsha, a carer aged 35, said: “It’s not right that BAE Systems profit from the genocide in Gaza.

"I’m also disgusted that whilst the Scottish Parliament have voted to back a ceasefire and the First Minister has spoken up in support of the Palestinian people, Scottish Enterprise has given funding to BAE.

"This public money, our money, should be invested in caring, not killing.”

Scott, a youth worker aged 26, said: “We are not here to shame or blame workers at BAE.

"The company’s management decides what to produce and who to sell to – it is them we hold accountable for being part of the chain of killing.”

Jay, a visual artist aged 24, said: “I will not stand by while civilians are murdered with weapons from companies like BAE, Thales and Leonardo, which all have significant presence in Scotland.

"I came here today to show that direct action is for everyone and that together, we can change the way the world turns.”