Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Members of the Combe Haven Defenders outside the Hastings branch of Barclays bank on Friday 8 March 2024. Photo: CHD

Hastings group closes Barclays account in protest at bank’s support for weapons sales to Israel

Hastings environmental campaign group Combe Haven Defenders (CHD) has closed its account with Barclays bank, in protest at the company’s role in weapons sales to Israel. Gabriel Carlyle reports.

According to human rights group War on Want, Barclays owns shares worth over £1.3bn in companies supplying Israel with weapons and military technology.

In addition to profiting from these shares, Barclays also provides companies supplying military equipment to Israel with over £4bn of loans and other financial services.

These companies include Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest private arms company which supplies 85% of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) used by the Israeli army; Raytheon, which makes bunker buster bombs used by Israel to target homes in Gaza; and Caterpillar, which supplies the Israeli military with the bulldozers used to crushPalestinian homes.

Catastrophic levels

Over 30,000 Palestinian civilians – a large number of them children – have been killed by the Israeli military since 7 October. Up to 1.7 million people (over 75 per cent of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, some multiple times.

On 6 March, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory stated that ‘Hunger has reached catastrophic levels.’

On 4 March Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, stated that he had seen children dying of starvation in hospitals in northern Gaza [5].

Call for more closures

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called on anyone with a Barclays account to close it on 21 March in protest at Barclays’ complicity in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.

This will be the second collective account closure day that the group has organised.  On the first such day (9 February), 1500 people closed their Barclays accounts.

A spokesperson for the Combe Haven Defenders, who closed their account last week, sending a letter of protest to the bank’s ‘Expert Servicing Team’, said: ‘Israel is committing the most appalling violations of human rights and international law in Gaza. The International Court of Justice has found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide. By making loans to companies supplying weapons to Israel, Barclays is profiting from these atrocities. We are removing our money from the bank and call on anyone else who has a personal or business account with Barclays to do the same, and to let Barclays know the reason.’

If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link. Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 21:23 Friday, Mar 15, 2024 In: Campaigns

Also in: Campaigns

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us


    Get our regular digest emails

  • Subscribe to HOT