Dutch court orders Israel to stop exports of F-35 jet parts

By Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - A Dutch appeals court on Monday ordered the government to halt all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, finding they were being used during Israel's Gaza offensive in violation of international law. Was.

"It cannot be denied that there is a clear risk that the use of exported F-35 parts would result in serious violations of international humanitarian law," the court said.

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TOPSHOT - A Palestinian woman cries while inspecting a heavily damaged apartment following an Israeli bombardment of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 8, 2024, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas enters its fifth month.  (Photo by Saeed Khatib/AFP) (Photo by Saeed Khatib/AFP via Getty Images)

It said the state must comply with the order within seven days and rejected government lawyers' request to suspend the order pending an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The case was brought against the Dutch government last December by several human rights groups, including Oxfam's Dutch affiliate.

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Israel's massive air and ground offensive in the densely populated Gaza Strip has killed more than 27,000 Palestinians, and displaced most of its 2.3 million people from their homes, according to health officials in the Hamas-run enclave. Is kept.

Israel has denied committing war crimes in its attacks on Gaza, which followed a Hamas cross-border attack on southern Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 Israelis and took about 240 hostage.

In the first ruling, a lower court blocked the Dutch government from ordering it to halt exports, even though it said it was likely the F-35s had contributed to violations of the laws of war.

It added that the state has a considerable degree of freedom when it comes to considering political and policy issues in taking decisions on arms exports.

The appeals court rejected this, saying that political and economic concerns could not outweigh the obvious risk of violating the laws of war.

The appeals court also said there was a possibility that the F-35s were being used in attacks on Gaza, which would have caused unacceptable civilian casualties. It rejected the Dutch state's argument that it did not need to carry out new checks on export permits.

The Netherlands is one of several regional warehouses of US-owned F-35 parts from which the parts are distributed to countries that request them, including Israel in at least one shipment since the October 7 attacks. Are.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Bergh and Bart Meijer; Editing by David Goodman and Angus MacSwan)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,

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