Pro-Palestinian activists smeared red paint over the Foreign Office and a British aerospace firm this morning as it claimed the company has supplied Israel with fighter jets.
Video footage shared by Palestine Action, which describes itself as ‘the direct action network dismantling British complicity with Israeli apartheid’ showed a protester spraying messages calling for an end to conflict in the Middle East at firm Leonardo’s HQ.
Police officers have arrested one person on suspicion of criminal damage and remain at the scene, where they are ‘seeking to arrest’ another who could be heard chanting ‘Stop the arms trade, end the struggle, free, free Palestine’ from the building’s canopy.
The Eagle Place building has been daubed with messages included ‘free Palestine’ and ‘terrorists’.
Leonardo says it is one of the Ministry of Defence’s biggest suppliers of defence and security equipment.
Two police officers detain a pro-Palestine protester outside Leonardo HQ on Thursday
Security guards monitor the entrance to Leonardo after protesters targeted it with red paint
The writing on the walls of the building accused the company of being ‘baby killers’
A video from the scene showed a man wearing a balaclava on top of the building’s entrance holding a red smoke flare. He shouted that the UK government is ‘complicit in genocide.’
Other messages daubed on the walls accused Leonardo of being ‘baby killers’.
The group added online: ‘Leonardo supplies Israel with Apache Helicopters and parts for their F-35 fighter jets, used to bombard Gaza.’
Activists also targeted the Foreign Office, daubing red paint across the building’s entrance and writing ‘blood’.
A post on X, formerly Twitter, from the group said: ‘Actionists spray the Foreign Office in London, 106 years after Britain signed away the land of Palestine to the zionist colonial project.
‘Since then, Britain continues to arm apartheid Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. BRITAIN IS GUILTY!’
A spokesperson for the Met Police said: ‘A man is in police custody after he was arrested by officers on suspicion of criminal damage following a protest in Eagle Place, Piccadilly.
After one arrest was made by police officers, a second activist remained on the roof of Leonardo HQ
The activists unfurled banners at the address in central London as they targeted the building in the early hours of the morning
‘One other person is currently on the canopy above the entrance to the building.
‘Officers are dealing with this man and once he is down safely will seek to arrest him for any offences.’
A photograph shared by the force showed a person with their face covered standing on top of the entrance to the building. The slogan ‘free Gaza’ had been written behind them.
In a post on social media, Palestine Action said: ‘Palestine Action occupy and spray weapons firm Leonardo’s London HQ, suppliers of weaponry for Israel’s fighter jets.
‘106 years ago today, Britain signed away the land of Palestine. It’s now up to the people to end the ongoing complicity in genocide!’
The activists protested on the 106th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a controversial statement issued by the British government in 1917 in which is supported a ‘national home for the Jewish people’ within Palestine.
The declaration is named after Arthur James Balfour, the then-British Foreign Secretary.
One of the slogans daubed on the wall of the Foreign Office reads: ‘F*** Balfour.’
MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.