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Arms Firms Suppling Artillery to Israel Invited to Edinburgh

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The multinational US arms company, Raytheon, to take part in an event in Holyrood Park. Scheduled for February 21st, 2024, the event has also secured the arrival of Italian arms company Leonardo, involved in the construction of components for the F-35 Fighter jets used by Israeli forces. 


This reception has been organised by members working for the ADS, an arms sector organisation in Scotland. The ADS are also sponsored by Thales, targeted by protestors in France for their links to Israel. The ADS have recently gained sponsorship by company Thales, a French company with notable ties with Israel. The UK Government is accountable for arms exports to Israel, with ministers maintaining the position that they have implemented robust procedures to ensure compliance with applicable laws.


The leadership of the ADS Scottish Council consist of executives from multinational companies with a presence in Scotland. These include BAE systems, Leonardo, Thales, and Raytheon. It is still unclear whether the event will eventually go ahead, with the ADS needing more sponsors. Although initially gaining support from Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, he later withdrew his support after Edinburgh news outlet The Ferret asked for a response to the criticisms made about the allyship.


Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) chairman Gerry Coutts has reflected on this by stating that, “as executives are entertained at a prestigious reception, hundreds and thousands of displaced families are living an unfathomable existence in cold flooded tents in Rafah.” The SPSC have organised multiple rallies in Scotland, made up of different religious organisations and political activists. Coutts continues to emphasise the need for collective solidarity in response to the ADS convention. He has stated that, “We will call for an end to war crimes, including those currently being committed in occupied Palestine.”


Ultimately, the unfolding developments underscore the complex interplay between political, corporate, and humanitarian concerns in the context of global arms industry dynamics. As protests continue in Edinburgh, activists await the confirmation of the event, with reports expected closer to the date.

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