Netherlands continues to export fighter jet parts to Israel after Dutch court clears case

The US-owned F-35 parts are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners, including Israel

By AFP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Photo: Demonstrators protest outside a district court on the day of a hearing of a case against the Dutch state launched by human rights organisations on December 4, 2023. Reuters
Photo: Demonstrators protest outside a district court on the day of a hearing of a case against the Dutch state launched by human rights organisations on December 4, 2023. Reuters

Published: Fri 15 Dec 2023, 2:14 PM

The Netherlands can continue to deliver parts for F-35 fighter jets being used by Israel in the Gaza Strip, after a Dutch court Friday threw out a case brought by a group of human rights organisations.

The district court in The Hague said that supplying the parts was primarily a political decision that judges should not interfere with.

"The considerations that the minister make are to a large extent of a political and policy nature and judges should leave the minister a large amount of freedom," the court ruled.

The organisations, including the local branch of Amnesty International, had argued that supplying the parts contributed to alleged violations of international law by Israel in its war with Hamas.

The US-owned F-35 parts are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners, including Israel, 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.

Dutch authorities said it was not clear whether they even had 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, a human rights lawyer for the plaintiffs, had dismissed that as "nonsense".

She said the Dutch government was clearly familiar with what she termed "the enormous destruction of infrastructure and civilian centres in Gaza".

Government lawyers also argued that if the Dutch did not supply the parts from the warehouse based in the Netherlands, Israel could easily procure them elsewhere.

Now in its third month, the war was launched in response to the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7.

It has since left Gaza in ruins, killing 18,878 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry.

ALSO READ:


More news from World