Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 2, 2022

Elbit Shut Down for Third Time in London, while Israeli Spy Towers Haunt Tohono O'odham Nation

Elbit spy towers on Tohono O'odham Nation copyright Ofelia Rivas. Photos in London by Vudi Xhymshiti

Elbit spy tower in the western part of Tohono O'odham Nation. Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas

Israel's Elbit Systems manufactures deadly drones used in Palestine. Elbit also built spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation for use by another predator: The U.S. Border Patrol.

By Brenda Norrell
Photos on Tohono O'odham Nation by Ofelia Rivas
Photos in London by Vudi Xhymshiti
Censored News

Activists from Palestine Action locked down in front of  Elbit System's building in London, shutting it down for the third time in three weeks. The building was sprayed with red dye to represent the blood of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military.

At the same time, on the Tohono O'odham Nation, Elbit's spy towers now haunt traditional O'odham communities, allowing U.S. Border Patrol agents to stalk vulnerable O'odham.

Elbit, an Israeli defense contractor, gained a contract for the integrated fixed towers from the United States government. The Tohono O'odham Nation government then approved it, over the objections of traditional O'odham.

Elbit integrated fixed tower, spy tower, on Tohono O'odham Nation. Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

These spy towers, integrated fixed towers, were constructed in O'odham burial places.

The Israeli spy towers now transmit live data to the U.S. Border Patrol agents. Agents can view the live video on their laptops, and can now stalk the most vulnerable O'odham in traditional communities.

Reporting from her homeland, Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham said traditional O'odham opposed the towers from the beginning.

"The Gu-Vo District opposes these proposed tower sites to protect cultural sites on the holy mountain now called the Ajo Mountain Range. The mountain holds human remains of our people and also places of our cultural practices (medicine bundles) home and home of the ceremonial deer and bighorn sheep and mountain tortoises that are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"The United States government military forces, the border patrol, have not been forthcoming with impact information, such as health effects and have deliberately misinformed the people regarding the immediate environmental impacts such as the roads they will build on the mountain and installation of electrical power lines to the sites as well as that these proposed tower sites will have a 25-year or longer impact on the mountain, the animal and plant life and the O'odham lives."

Elbit's spy tower looms on the Tohono O'odham Nation, allowing U.S. Border Patrol agents to stalk vulnerable O'odham. Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

"The Gu-Vo District communities landscape has already been greatly impacted by numerous unauthorized roads and destruction of our mountains and hills of great significance to the O'odham way of life. Our future generations will face more restrictions to live on our original lands as our rights as original Indigenous peoples continue to deteriorate."

"These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said Gu-Vo District.

In London, the action was part of a nationwide campaign by Palestine Action to shut down the factories and offices of Elbit Systems UK, which makes drones and surveillance drones and pilotless attack aircraft for the Israeli military.

Palestine Action said in a statement: “The site has been sprayed in Palestine Action’s typical blood-red paint as Elbit’s involvement in the slaughter of Palestinian civilians is exposed by those taking action."

Palestine Action activists returned to 77 Kingsway, the London headquarters of Elbit Systems, once again locked onto the entrance and prevented operations.

Activists have thrown red paint over the premises to symbolize the bloodshed that Elbit’s British operations facilitate and attached themselves to lock-on blocking access to the site.

Meanwhile, on the Tohono O'odham Nation, on the Arizona border, Elbit's spy towers and the U.S. Border Patrol threaten the most vulnerable O'odham.

U.S. Border Patrol whistleblower Jenn Budd, a former Border Patrol senior intelligence officer, points out that three Border Patrol agents here in the Tucson, Arizona, sector have been arrested for serial rape. Budd is now writing a book on the "rape culture" within the U.S. Border Patrol.

Palestine Action press statement

Action marks the third time in 2 weeks that the factory has been rendered inoperable by Palestine Action activists

Palestine Action have returned again to the London offices of Elbit Systems, with their headquarters at 77 Kingsway being forced to close by activists taking on Israel’s largest arms firm. Today’s action has forced the premises to close, as activists prevent entry to the site usually used to oversee Elbit’s British manufacturing of Israel’s drones and munitions.

The site has been sprayed in Palestine Action’s typical blood red paint, as Elbit’s involvement in the slaughter of Palestinian civilians is exposed by those taking action. Activists have continued to target the site as Israel’s repression of Palestinians in the occupied territories continues. Elbit products, such as surveillance technologies, small calibre munitions, and military drones – some of which are British-manufactured – have been deployed against Palestinians over the previous month, with Elbit’s continued operations in this country marking us as complicit in this Palestinian suffering.

Palestine Action have pledged that action against Elbit Systems will continue unabated, despite increased police and court harassment and intimidation being taken against those standing against the suppliers of arms to war criminals.

If you would like any further information on Palestine action, please contact

Palestine Action is a direct-action network of groups and individuals formed with the mandate of taking direct action against Elbit Systems’ UK locations at grassroots level, calling for them all to be shut down and for the British government to end its complicity in Israeli apartheid.

For previous actions please see:


Company profile on Elbit Systems:

Detail on Al-Aqsa mosque attacks: Israel storms Al-Aqsa, beats Palestinian worshipers to make way for Jewish settlers – Mondoweiss

Bombardment of Gaza: Israel strikes Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket as tensions soar in Jerusalem – CBS News

Role of Elbit drone in killing of four children paying on Gaza beach in 2014:

More on the death and destruction inflicted by Elbit’s drones upon Gaza:

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