The Netherlands' plan to send F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel has prompted action by a group of human rights organizations that have filed a lawsuit against the move.
Amnesty International, Oxfam Novib and The Rights Forum made a plea in the district court in The Hague on Monday.
They say shipping the F-35 parts implicates the Dutch government in the war crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinians.
Human rights lawyers told the court Israel has been using the warplanes in its brutal war on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Israel has killed more than 15,500 people, 70 percent of whom women and children, in Gaza since October 7.
Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld told the court hearing that the Dutch government “must immediately stop the delivery of F-35 parts to Israel.”
“That is its obligation under ... article 1 of the Geneva conventions, it is its obligation under the Genocide Treaty to prevent genocide, and it is its obligation under export law.”
“Israel disregards the fundamental principles of the laws of war, such as distinguishing between civilian and military targets and the principle of proportionality,” in the bombing of Gaza, the groups said in the court filing.
The F-35 parts, owned by the United States, are stored in a warehouse at Woensdrecht Air Base in the Netherlands.
Weeks after Israel waged its war on Gaza on that October day, the Dutch government approved the delivery of spare parts, according to government records.
Citing government documents, Zegveld said the Dutch customs asked the government if it wanted to continue exports after Israel ignited the war machine.
“The warning that the fighter jets can contribute to serious breaches of the laws of war does not, for the (Dutch) state, outweigh its economic interests and diplomatic reputation,” Zegveld said.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) says the Dutch Foreign Ministry was already aware that there were serious concerns over Israel’s war on Gaza but did not stop the shipment of the parts.
Massacre vs. ‘law that governs armed conflict’
Meanwhile, government lawyer Reimer Veldhuis has urged the court’s single judge to reject the injunction. “The suffering of the people of Gaza is great, and the state does not minimize that. But the law that governs armed conflict is not a simple calculation.”
A ruling is expected within two weeks and can be appealed.
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