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Rights groups to sue Dutch government for 'supporting' Israel’s violations in Gaza

November 14, 2023 at 9:33 pm

People hold Palestinian flags and shout slogans as they gather for a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Amsterdam, Netherlands on October 15, 2023 [Mouneb Taim – Anadolu Agency]

Four rights groups are suing the Dutch government for its stance on the conflict in Gaza, which they say is tantamount to supporting Israel’s violations, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Oxfam Novib, Amnesty International, PAX and The Rights Forum argued that the Netherlands is “partly responsible for violations of the laws of war and collective punishment of the Gazan civilian population,” particularly due to its continued weapons exports to Israel.

They have demand the Dutch government to act in accordance with its policy frameworks, constitutional obligations and international agreements.

Michiel Servaes, Director of Oxfam Novib, said aid organisations want to provide aid to the civilian population in Gaza, “but the rain of bombs makes that impossible” and “it is almost unbelievable that these bombs are dropped thanks to Dutch military support.”

This has to stop. It is an unprecedented step for us to go to court but, if necessary, unfortunately there is no other option

he added.

Martje van Nes, organisation director of PAX, said the Netherlands has a concrete assessment framework for arms exports and, when military goods could contribute to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law, their export is “strictly prohibited”.

It is incomprehensible that the government has knowingly deviated from this, despite clear warnings. This makes them partly responsible for the use of the equipment

he said.

Dagmar Oudshoorn, Director of Amnesty International, said the Dutch government is “losing all credibility,” and by supplying weapon parts it “runs the risk of becoming complicit in violations of international humanitarian law”.

Israel has killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, including women and children, besides damaging and destroying thousands of civilian structures in its relentless air and ground attacks on Gaza since the 7 October surprise attack by Hamas.

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