A Dutch court ruled on Monday, following an appeal by human rights organizations, that the Netherlands must cease delivering parts for F-35 fighter jets used by “Israel” in its genocide in Gaza – stating that they contributed to violations of international law.
“The court orders the State to cease all actual export and transit of F-35 parts with final destination Israel within seven days after service of this judgment”, the court said in the ruling, adding, “The considerations that the minister makes are to a large extent of a political and policy nature and judges should leave the minister a large amount of freedom”.
The rights group argued that by sending F-35 parts to “Israel”, the Netherlands “is contributing to serious violations of humanitarian law of war in Gaza,” which comes after the district court in The Hague ruled in December that the supply of parts was a political decision that judges should not refrain from interfering with.
The case concerns US-owned F-35 parts stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners, including the Israeli occupation entity, via existing export agreements.
These parts “make it possible for real bombs to be dropped on real houses and on real families,” said Michiel Servaes, director of Oxfam Novib, one of the plaintiffs.
Clear violations, blind eyes
Dutch authorities have claimed that it is not clear whether they even have the power to intervene in the deliveries, part of a US-run operation that supplies parts to all F-35 partners.
“On the basis of current information on the deployment of Israeli F-35s, it cannot be established that the F-35s are involved in serious violations of humanitarian law of war,” the government said in a letter to parliament.
But Liesbeth Zegveld, human rights lawyer for the plaintiffs, dismissed this as “nonsense”. She charged that the Dutch government was clearly familiar with “the enormous destruction of infrastructure and civilian centers in Gaza.”
Zegveld pointed to the government’s own export rules, which state that a license should be refused if there is a “clear risk” the goods “will be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
PAX Netherlands, one of the rights groups involved in the appeal, said that the ruling “strengthens our confidence in a positive ruling in our case”.