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Thousands of people vow not to bank with Barclays until it ends its complicity with Israeli genocide and apartheid

  • Over 1000 people collectively close their Barclays accounts today (21 March 2024) on second mass account closure day.
  • This adds to the 1500 that shut their Barclays accounts on the first account closure day, 9 February 2024.
  • Thousands more pledge never to bank with Barclays
  • Barclays is condemned for its financial ties with arms companies supplying Israel with weapons used in its genocidal attacks 

Over 1000 people have closed their accounts with UK banking giant Barclays today in protest at its bankrolling of Israel’s genocidal attack on Palestinians, as part of a second mass account closure day called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). They join over 1500 people who shut their accounts on the first account closure day in February 2024. Thousands more have signed a pledge never to bank with Barclays while it remains complicit with Israel’s apartheid system.

Campaigners accuse Barclays of bankrolling Israel’s assault on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, pointing to research showing that the bank holds over £1 billion in shares and provides over £3 billion in loans and underwriting to 9 companies whose weapons, components, and military technology are being used by Israel. These companies include General Dynamics, which produces the gun systems that arm the fighter jets used by Israel to bombard Gaza, and Elbit Systems, which produces armoured drones, munitions and artillery weapons used by the Israeli military.

Activists say that by providing investment and financial services to these arms companies, Barclays is facilitating Israel’s attacks on Palestinians, which the International Court Justice (ICJ) has deemed to be a plausible case of genocide.

This mass account closure day falls on the UN Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination, commemorated on the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, during which South African police killed 69 black protesters demonstrating against the apartheid pass laws. During this time, Barclays faced a sustained boycott campaign over its financial support for South African apartheid before eventually being forced to withdraw in 1986.

Campaigners say that, once again, Barclays will be forced to end its complicity in apartheid.

This second mass account closure day is part of an on-going campaign aimed at highlighting Barclays toxic banking policies that make it complicit with Israel’s war crimes. Barclays will continue be the target of social media campaigns, pickets and sit ins until it is forced to prioritise humanity over profit.

Ben Jamal, PSC Director, said : 

“More than 31 000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, in what the ICJ has accepted is a plausible case of genocide. UN experts have warned that Gaza is facing imminent famine due to Israel’s blockade and attacks. To its eternal shame, Barclays is complicit, financing the companies that supply Israel with the weapons and military technology it uses to carry out its attacks.

Barclays was forced to stop supporting apartheid in South Africa before, and we’ll force it to stop supporting Israel’s genocide and apartheid now.”