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Trinity College in Cambridge issued with legal notice from Palestinian group over ‘investments in Israeli arms company’





Trinity College has been issued with a legal challenge after a Freedom of Information Act request revealed it has directly invested in Elbit Systems, Israel’s arms manufacturer.

The University of Cambridge college made a £61,735 investment into Elbit Systems, which describes its drones as “the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces” (IDF). Elbit, which trades on the US Nasdaq stock exchange, claims the Israeli military’s drone fleet features 85 per cent systems from the company.

Trinity College. Picture: iStock
Trinity College. Picture: iStock

The UK-based International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) issued the college with a legal notice last Wednesday (28 February), claiming the investments mean it has been potentially complicit in Israeli “war crimes” amid the conflict in Gaza.

The FOI request also established that Trinity - which has assets of £1.6bn - has invested a total of £2.5m in Caterpillar, the US heavy equipment company whose armoured bulldozers have long been used to demolish homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Trinity has also been identified as backing other companies whose products have been used by the Israeli military, including General Electric (engines for fighters and helicopters), Rolls-Royce (components for F-35 aircraft), Toyota Corporation (military vehicles used by Israel), Barclays Bank (£1.3bn investments in Israel’s military activities) and L3Harris Industries (manufactures imaging systems, electro-optical and infrared systems and intelligence, and surveillance and reconnaissance components used in Israeli weapon systems, including air-to-ground bombs, warplanes, tanks, and warships).

“Elbit Systems, Caterpillar and other companies that Trinity has a stake in are not only potentially complicit in Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, but they have also contributed to home demolitions, West Bank barrier construction and other tools of apartheid,” said a spokesperson for the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP). “Investment in these companies was already morally bankrupt, but in the current circumstances, it is beyond belief that Trinity would choose to continue investing in them.”

Protesters outside the Maxwell Centre on JJ Thompson Avenue protest at the University of Cambridge's connections to companies selling arms to Israel. Picture: Mike Scialom
Protesters outside the Maxwell Centre on JJ Thompson Avenue protest at the University of Cambridge's connections to companies selling arms to Israel. Picture: Mike Scialom

The ICJP have called on Trinity College to confirm “as a matter of urgency, whether they intend on suspending their current investments in the aforementioned companies”. It gave it a deadline of 12 March to respond.

Since the October 7 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, which resulted in 1,200 deaths, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. The UN estimates “at least 576,000 people - 25 per cent of the Strip’s population - are currently experiencing true famine”.

Trinity College was contacted for comment.



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