Netherlands ordered to halt shipping F-35 parts to Occupied Palestine within one week
The Appeals Court in The Hague has ordered the government of the Netherlands to halt within one week further export of parts for F-35 warplanes Israel uses in the bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
The ruling on Monday holds that there is a “clear risk” the parts the Netherlands is providing for the regime are being used in “serious violations of international humanitarian law” in the besieged Palestinian territory.
The ruling followed an appeal by Amnesty International and Oxfam against a lower court decision in December that rejected their argument that shipping the F-35 parts were helping Israel carry out “violations of humanitarian law” in Gaza. They also said the deliveries implicate the Dutch government in the crimes of Israel.
“The court therefore orders the State to put an end to the further export of F-35 parts to Israel within 7 days.” said the Monday ruling.
“There is a clear risk that serious violations of humanitarian law of war are committed in the Gaza Strip with Israel's F-35 fighter planes.”
In December, the District Court in The Hague ruled that supplying the parts was primarily a political decision that judges should not interfere with.
But the appeals court overturned that order, ruling that the Netherlands “must prohibit the export of military goods if there is a clear risk of serious violations of the humanitarian law of war.”
It said, “Israel does not take sufficient account of the consequences for the civilian population when conducting its attacks.” The regime’s war on Gaza “has caused a disproportionate number of civilian casualties, including thousands of children.”
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.
But the court said, “The fact that the licenses are concluded for an unlimited time does not mean that the State can close its eyes to what happens afterwards.”
Dutch authorities, however, argue the deliveries are part of a US-run operation that supplies parts to all F-35 partners. They say they might not have the authority to intervene in the deliveries.
When Israel ignited its bloody war machine in Gaza in early October, Washington – given its nonstop unqualified military assistance to Israel – wasted no time in swiftly providing the regime with new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter weapons capabilities and spare parts.