The Netherlands must stop supplying Israel with components for the F-35 fighter jets it uses in the war in the Gaza Strip. On Monday, the court in The Hague decided on this and thus confirmed the appeal filed by humanitarian organizations in the matter, reports the AFP agency.
The appeals court’s verdict concerns parts that are owned by the US, stored in a warehouse in the Netherlands and then transported to several foreign partners, including Israel, under valid export contracts.
Large parts of Gaza and its surroundings are already destroyed and it is a matter of weeks before the largest Palestinian city becomes completely uninhabitable.
“The court orders the state to stop any actual export and transit of components for the F-35 with a final destination in Israel within seven days of service of this judgment,” the court’s decision reads.
Human rights organizations, which appealed against the earlier verdict of a lower court in January, argued that by exporting these parts, the Netherlands is contributing to gross violations of humanitarian law in the military conflict in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
The District Court in The Hague said back in December that the supply of parts is primarily a political decision of the Dutch government, in which judges should not interfere.
The confusion was caused primarily by the question of whether the authorities even have the authority to interfere with supplies that are part of a US-led operation to provide components for F-35 fighters to all of Washington’s partners.
Dutch government lawyers also argued that if The Hague stopped supplying parts kept in a Dutch warehouse, Israel would simply get them from another source.
The war in the Gaza Strip broke out after an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israel on October 7, 2023, in which the militants killed more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Palestinian commandos also kidnapped about 250 hostages, of whom 132 remain in the Gaza Strip. Israel assumes that 29 hostages have since died.
In response to the attack, Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas, and its retaliatory airstrikes and ground offensive have already killed more than 28,300 people in the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
International law experts told AFP that both sides of the conflict in the Palestinian enclave are likely to be violating human rights.
In January, the International Court of Justice, based in The Hague, ordered Israel to take immediate measures to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and to address the unfavorable living conditions of the Palestinians. Israel must also take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement to commit genocide in the war in the Gaza Strip.