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Dutch court: Netherlands must stop delivering parts of F-35 jets used by Israel in Gaza

February 12, 2024 at 2:30 pm

Two F-35 stealth fighter jets touch down at Nevatim Air Base near Beersheba on 12 December 2016 [Israeli Army/Anadolu Agency]

The Netherlands must stop delivering components for F-35 fighter jets used by Israel in the Gaza Strip after a Dutch court today determined that there is a “clear risk” of these planes being implicated in the violation of international humanitarian law.

The Appeals Court in The Hague supported the claims made by a coalition of human rights organisations, asserting that providing parts for F-35 fighter jets contributed to Israel’s breaches of the law during its war against Gaza.

“The court therefore orders the State to put an end to the further export of F-35 parts to Israel within 7 days,” said the ruling.

There is a clear risk that serious violations of humanitarian law of war are committed in the Gaza Strip with Israel’s F-35 fighter planes

added the judge.

According to the Times of Israel, the US-owned F-35 parts are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners, including Israel, through existing export agreements.

The ruling comes after a decision by the District Court in The Hague in December, which stated that supplying the parts was primarily a political matter that judges should not interfere with.

“The considerations that the minister makes are to a large extent of a political and policy nature and judges should leave the minister a large amount of freedom,” the court ruled at the time.

However, the appeals court reversed this decision, emphasising that the Netherlands is obligated to prohibit the export of military goods when there is a clear risk of serious violations of humanitarian laws of war.

The court highlighted Israel’s insufficient consideration of the consequences for the civilian population during its attacks.

Israel does not take sufficient account of the consequences for the civilian population when conducting its attacks

said the court. The attacks in Gaza “have caused a disproportionate number of civilian casualties, including thousands of children.”

Flouting the provisional ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel launched an air campaign on Rafah overnight, killing more than 65 Palestinians. The city had been declared a “safe zone” by occupation forces and over a million Palestinians had taken shelter there after being forced out of their homes in the northern areas of the Strip since 7 October.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure was damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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