Activists have blocked the entrance to a Glasgow factory which produces parts for Israeli drones, as they protest against the ongoing war in the Gaza strip.

Demonstrators blocked entrances to Thales' Govan site from early morning on Wednesday, May 15 as they call for a halt in the UK’s arms exports to Israel, an immediate ceasefire and an end to what they described as the genocide in Gaza.

The action comes on the day that Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, meaning 'catastrophe', the violent displacement of Palestinian people in the 1948 war which established the state of Israel.

More than 80% of the mostly Arab Palestinian population were expelled or fled from what would become Israel, with at least 15,000 killed.

Following the surrender of a former fishing village, Tantura, in 1948 between 40 and 200 villagers were massacred. The Nakba has been described by several historians as an example of ethnic cleansing.

As part of the ongoing war in the Gaza strip, Israel is preparing a ground invasion of Rafah, where over a million people have been displaced.

In protest a group of local activists have shut down the Thales plant in Govan, which is involved in producing the Watchkeeper drone with Israeli defence company Elbit Systems.

UK foreign secretary David Cameron earlier this week ruled out halting arms sales to Israel.

Daniel, 47, a care worker, said: "Every day since October we have seen the Israeli Occupying Forces murder and torture people in the most grotesque and horrific ways.

Glasgow Times: Protestors blockade the Thales factory in Govan, GlasgowProtestors blockade the Thales factory in Govan, Glasgow (Image: Supplied)

"We've seen babies take their last breath before incubators ran out, children carrying their dead siblings in plastic bags, men dying for lack of basic life-sustaining medication, women giving birth with no healthcare or anaesthetic.

"The Israeli government knows there is no safe place in Gaza, even as they tell people to move again. My conscience demands that I do whatever it takes to stop the chain of killing that starts here in my home town."

Jamie, 32, who works at a Scottish university, said: ‘Scotland is a huge part of the UK’s bloody links to Israel. Our leaders in Holyrood and Westminster aren’t taking action; in fact they are actively contributing to these horrors. That's why we are doing the embargo ourselves, bringing Scottish solidarity to the people of Palestine who have suffered uncountable horrors and humiliation.

"All our eyes are on Rafah right now but this horror did not start with Rafah – it's been decades of bloody occupation. We can do our bit today to hit the profits of those who value money over human life and dignity.’

Justine, 39, an education worker and trade unionist from Glasgow, said: "Today, on Nakba Day, we are thinking of all those in Palestine since 1948 whose lives have been extinguished and maimed by the Occupation and the current genocide.

"We think of the many thousands who have died in prison and those who are still there today, without trial or due process."

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: "Around 5.05am on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 police were called to a report of a demonstration within the grounds of a business premises on Linthouse Road, Govan, Glasgow.

"Officers are in attendance and a number of arrests have been made."

A Tales spokesperson said: “Thales is extremely proud of its role in helping to protect the UK and keep our armed forces safe.

“Regarding exports, Thales adheres to the UK Government’s industry control system for overseas sales, one of the most rigorous and transparent of its kind in the world.

“While those outside our site in Glasgow have the right to protest peacefully, we will work with authorities to prosecute anyone who threatens our employees, our property or our important work for the UK armed forces.”