Saturday, February 24, 2024

Court orders Netherlands to halt delivery of fighter jet parts to Israel

A Dutch Court has ordered the government of the Netherlands to halt its delivery of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel within seven days.   

The appeal Court stated in its verdict that there is clear evidence to prove that the parts being delivered by the Dutch government are being used in “serious violations of international humanitarian law”.

The verdict comes in response to the appeal of Amnesty International and Oxfam against the decision of a lower court that rejected their claim of the government being complicit in the war crimes being committed in Gaza by maintaining the deliveries. 

In December, the lower court dismissed the case by the human rights organisations by claiming that the government had autonomy in deciding its policy of weapon delivery and export.

That order was overturned by the appeals court on Monday which said that the political and economic concerns do not triumph over the humanitarian ones. The verdict by Judge Bas Boele elicited cheers from various people present in the courtroom.

The US-made F-35 Fighter Jets are stored in a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to various partners, including Israel, according to the existing export agreements. It has supplied Israel with at least one shipment since it began its genocidal aggression against Gaza. 

Export rights were granted to the Dutch government for an unlimited time in 2006. But, the court said, “The fact that the licences are concluded for an unlimited time does not mean that the State can close its eyes to what happens afterwards.”

The government lawyer said that Israel could easily procure parts of the F-35 fighter jet from anywhere else in the world even if the Dutch government were to halt its delivery.

Dutch authorities also said that they are not sure if they can intervene with the deliveries, which are part of a US-run operation.

The government said that it would appeal to the Supreme Court because it believes that the export of F-35 parts is crucial for Israel to “protect” itself from external threats like Yemen, Syria, Iran and Lebanon. 

The International Court of Justice situated in The Hague also gave a verdict against Israel last month, recognising its acts of genocide. 

Similar demands are rising in Canada where dozens of civil rights organisations urged the government to halt its export of weapons to Israel as it might be used in attacking the Gaza strip. 

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