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UPDATED: Arlington office building housing Israeli defense firm vandalized

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Someone splashed red paint and scrawled messages in red letters on the outside of the Arlington Tower building in Rosslyn.

The extensive graffiti was discovered this morning on the front of the office building at 1300 17th Street N., which notably housed then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection headquarters.

Workers could be seen covering up and trying to clean the red paint from the building’s front walkway, facade and glass doors throughout the day today.

Despite the building’s political campaign history, the apparent target of the graffiti was the Washington office of Israel-based defense firm Elbit Systems. Photos sent to ARLnow show the words “Shut Elbit Down” uncovered while workers attempt to remove the paint.

A number of European funds have publicly divested of Elbit stock in the past due to the company’s role in constructing the Israeli West Bank barrier and manufacturing cluster munitions.

Arlington County police said an online report about the office building vandalism was filed Monday.

“Police received an online report for vandalism alleging that between 2:15 a.m. and 2:35 a.m. on November 6, unknown suspects threw paint on a commercial building and wrote comments regarding Palestine and the company occupying the property,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The investigation is ongoing.”

In a company statement, Elbit says it’s working to ensure employee safety.

Elbit America employs thousands of Americans who are dedicated to the mission of creating innovative solutions that protect and save lives, While we support the rights of protesters to peacefully express their views, we take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously and we will continue to work closely with local officials to ensure safety for all.

Red paint, meanwhile, was also used to vandalize the front gates of the White House with red handprints over the weekend amid pro-Palestinian protests. The latest round of Middle East violence started with a surprise Hamas attack on Israeli civilians, leading to the bombardment, blockade and ground invasion of Gaza by Israeli armed forces.

The chair of the Arlington County Board last month said the county “unequivocally… condemn[s] all of the violence that has been targeted at non-combatants” during the Hamas-Israel war.

In addition to Elbit Systems, the Arlington Tower building houses the Washington office of a major engineering firm, an outpost of a Boston-based university, and the headquarters of a publicly traded conglomerate noted for its media and education holdings. While Trump’s 2024 campaign headquarters is said to be in Florida, the campaign’s FEC filings maintain an Arlington post office box.

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