A Dutch appeals court ordered the Netherlands to stop the delivery of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel over mounting concerns over their use in the country’s conflict in Gaza.
“It is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the court said in its ruling, adding that the government had seven days to comply with the order.
The case was brought by international rights groups in December, who accused the Dutch government of being complicit in alleged war crimes being committed by Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas.
The Dutch government said it would appeal the decision while abiding by the court’s ruling.
Pressure is mounting for Israel’s allies to impose weapons restrictions
Israel’s allies are facing increasing pressure to impose export restrictions on weapons, as civilian casualties continue to rise in the country’s military campaign in Gaza. Human rights groups based in the U.K. sued the government last December to try and stop it from licensing weapons exports to Israel, which Britain’s defense secretary defended as being a “relatively small.” While some U.S. lawmakers have urged placing conditions on weapons sales to Israel, analysts have accused the Biden administration of ignoring its laws and standards on vetting countries that receive military aid from the U.S., Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man of Democracy for the Arab World Now wrote for The Guardian. The U.S. has instead created a separate mechanism for vetting Israel, and the State Department has not concluded that the country has committed any gross violations of human rights, one former State Department official, who resigned in protest over weapons transfers, told The Lawfare Podcast. “Instead of using…tried and tested enforcement mechanisms, Biden is communicating conditions behind closed doors where there can be no oversight of accountability,” Omer-Man argued.
Recent ICJ ruling could scrutinize US’ support of Israel
A recent provisional ruling by the International Court of Justice calling on Israel to take measures to prevent genocide in Gaza “puts countries supporting Israel on notice” — particularly the U.S. and the U.K. — who could also face cases before the ICJ if the court determines that Israel committed genocide, a lawyer at the Atlantic Council wrote. “If the finding is that there has been genocide, those states that have aided and abetted become a party to the commission of an infringement in terms of the Convention,” said Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, following the January ruling. “Israel has very powerful friends who I hope will advise Israel that they should act,” she added.