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Netherlands halted delivery of F-35 parts to Israel since court ruling: Defense minister

People take part in a sit-in protest to call for a ceasefire in Gaza under Israel's ongoing attacks, at Amsterdam Centraal Station in the Netherlands on November 16, 2023. (File photo by AA)

The Netherlands has stopped delivering parts for F-35 fighter jets used by Israel in its war against the Gaza Strip after a Dutch court ruling, according to the Dutch minister of defense.

In February, The Appeals Court in The Hague ruled there was a “clear risk” the planes would be involved in breaking international humanitarian law in Gaza where close to 36,400 Palestinians are killed in a relentless Israeli offensive.

“The ruling says we cannot transfer parts for the F-35 from the Netherlands to Israel and since the ruling, there have been no transfers,” Kajsa Ollongren, was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera on Sunday.

Ollongren said the F-35 is an “important asset” for Israel’s air defense, pointing out its use during Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel in April.

Nevertheless, the Dutch government appealed the decision almost immediately.

“We comply, of course, by the court ruling”, Ollongren said, adding that another court is “still considering the case” and “of course, we will wait for the outcome of that court.”

The F-35 parts, owned by the United States, are stored in a warehouse at Woensdrecht Air Base in the Netherlands. Export licenses were granted to the European country in 2016 for an unlimited time.

Several human rights organizations in the Netherlands, such as Oxfam Novib, PAX, and The Rights Forum, filed a lawsuit against the Dutch government for supplying F-35 parts to Israel, saying the government is complicit in war crimes by maintaining the deliveries.

Read more:

Netherlands ordered to halt shipping F-35 parts to Israel within one week

Elsewhere the Dutch minister called for an “immediate” end to the offensive in Rafah and a ceasefire, saying that a “military solution” would not bring an end to the conflict in Gaza.

“I think that the plans that are on the table right now, proposed by President Biden, are the basis for what is needed,” said Ollongren.

Read more:

Biden: Israel offers 'comprehensive' new ceasefire deal

US President Joe Biden on Friday announced that he had submitted a ceasefire proposal to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas while expressing hope that the two sides would agree to a deal.

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan expressed his approval of the proposal, considering it a positive development. However, he said the group has not yet received written documents.

Washington has been Israel’s main supporter in the Gaza war as it has supplied various types of weapons to the regime while at the same time blocking international efforts aimed at forcing an end to the onslaught on the Palestinian territory.

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