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In a victory for basic humanity and international law, a Dutch appeals court has issued an order to block the delivery of parts for F-35 fighter aircraft to Israel. This decision comes amid concerns that these parts are being used to violate international law during the conflict in Gaza. Human rights groups argued that the F-35 parts provided from a Dutch warehouse have contributed to violations by Israel in the region.
The court’s ruling states that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law. Additionally, the court criticized Israel for not adequately considering the consequences for the civilian population during its attacks.
The Dutch government has been given seven days to comply with this order, but it retains the option to appeal to the Supreme Court. The case was brought forward by several groups, including the Dutch affiliate of Oxfam, after the Dutch government decided to continue exporting F-35 parts to Israel despite the ongoing siege on Gaza. A lower court had previously ruled that the export was primarily a political decision, even though it acknowledged that F-35s likely contributed to violations of the laws of war.
The F-35 parts, which are owned by the United States, are stored in a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to various countries, including Israel. On January 26 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to take measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza, following a request from South Africa.