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ICJ rejects Nicaragua request to compel Germany to cease military aid to Israel

April 30, 2024 at 5:26 pm

Pictures of the courtroom during the second day of hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case brought by Nicaragua against Germany concerning the financial and military aid provided by the European country to Israel and the cessation of subsidies to the aid organisation UNRWA in The Hague, the Netherlands on April 08, 2024 [ICJ]

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today rejected Nicaragua’s request to compel Germany to cease military aid to Israel and resume funding for UNRWA, the biggest humanitarian aid provider in Gaza.

Lawyers for Nicaragua asked the ICJ to order Germany to halt arms sales to Israel and resume funding of UNRWA. They argued Berlin has violated the 1948 Genocide Convention and international humanitarian law by continuing to supply Israel while aware there was a risk of genocide.

However, the top UN Court ruled that the legal prerequisites for issuing such an order were not fulfilled, resulting in a 15-1 vote rejecting the request.

Lebanese Judge, Nawaf Salam, announced, “Based on the factual information and legal arguments presented by the parties, the Court concludes that, as present, the circumstances are not such as to require the exercise of its power under Article 41 of the statute to indicate provisional measures.”

He also noted that “the Court remains deeply concerned about the catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in particular in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which they have been subjected”.

Moreover, he added that the Court “considers it particularly important to remind all states of their international obligations relating to the transfer of arms to parties to an armed conflict, in order to avoid the risk that such arms might be used” to violate international law.

In response, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to X to welcome the decision and said Germany was “not a party to the conflict in the Middle East”.

Berlin has been one of Israel’s staunchest allies since 7 October. It is one of its biggest arms suppliers, sending €326.5 million ($353.70 million) in military equipment and weapons in 2023, according to Economy Ministry data.

Germany and other Western nations have faced street protests, various legal cases and accusations of hypocrisy from campaign groups who say Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, having killed over 34,000 Palestinians in six months, over 70 per cent of whom have been women and children, and displaced over 85 per cent of the population.

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