‘Thousands in UK close Barclays accounts’ over bank’s ties to Israeli military suppliers

 An activist group reported that numerous individuals in the UK have closed their Barclays bank accounts due to the financial institution's ties to the Israeli military.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign arranged two "mass account closure days" to pressure Barclays into severing its financial connections with arms companies supplying the Israeli armed forces. The group noted that over 1,500 participants joined the first action on Feb. 9, and more than 1,000 were expected for the second on March 20. Additionally, thousands pledged never to bank with Barclays while it remains complicit in Israel's apartheid system.

Research revealed substantial financial links between Barclays, one of the UK's largest banks, and major arms suppliers to Israel. Barclays holds over £1 billion ($1.27 billion) in shares and provides £3 billion in loans and underwriting to nine companies whose weaponry and military technology are used by Israel. Campaigners highlighted General Dynamics and Elbit Systems as suppliers of munitions and weapons systems during Gaza's conflict, implying that Barclays' support enables a military campaign that the International Court of Justice suggests could be akin to genocide.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign committed to further actions, such as social media campaigns, pickets, and sit-ins, to urge Barclays to distance itself from such enterprises.

Ben Jamal, the group's director, emphasized the dire situation in Gaza, citing over 31,000 Palestinian casualties and the looming threat of famine due to Israel's actions. He criticized Barclays for financing companies supplying weapons and military technology, drawing parallels to its past involvement in apartheid-era South Africa and vowing to halt its support for what he termed Israel's genocide and apartheid practices.

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