A court in The Hague ordered the cessation of all transfers of F-35 aircraft parts in use in Israel from American army warehouses in the country. The court ruled in favor of an appeal filed by human rights organizations in the Netherlands, which claimed that such transfers could implicate the Netherlands in human rights violations and war crimes. The appeal came after a local court in the Netherlands rejected a similar request.
In its ruling, the court stated that there is a clear and immediate risk of significant violations of human rights being committed in the Gaza Strip by the F-35 aircraft used by the Israeli Air Force. The court ruled that Israel does not take into account the consequences of its bombings on the civilian population, leading to a disproportionate number of deaths on the Palestinian side, including thousands of children.
According to international treaties to which the Netherlands is a signatory, the export of weapons must be prohibited if there is a significant fear of violations of international law. Therefore, the court ruled that the export of F-35 parts to Israel must not take place. The court also ruled that the government’s decision not to intervene in the parts export agreement constituted a violation of the Netherlands’ obligations according to international treaties.
The court ordered the Netherlands to stop the export within seven days, although the immediate consequences of this step are not yet clear. The letter is part of an ongoing case of the export of parts of the American F35 fighter jet in the Netherlands. Human rights organizations, including the Dutch branch of Oxfam, the PAX organization, and the legal organization Rights Forum, filed the appeal against the Dutch government’s decision.
The Dutch government had previously stated that it intended to allow the export to Israel of spare parts for the fighter jet, but it was warned against such a supply by anonymous sources in the Dutch Foreign Ministry. The leak prompted the government to reject the criticism and defend its decision, which, according to the organizations, led to a rejection of their claim by a local court in The Hague. Today, however, the court ruled in favor of the petitioners.