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JUDGES in the Netherlands today ordered the Dutch government to halt the export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, citing a clear risk of violations of international law.
The move follows a demand by international trade unions for governments to reverse their decisions to cease funding to a key United Nations aid agency.
A trio of human rights organisations brought a civil suit against the Netherlands in December, arguing authorities needed to reevaluate the export licence in light of Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip.
“It is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law,” Judge Bas Boele said in reading out the ruling, eliciting cheers from several people in the courtroom.
Lead lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld told reporters after the hearing: “We are extremely grateful that there is justice and that the court was willing to speak out on justice.”
Oxfam Novib, Pax Nederland and The Rights Forum filed the case in December. They argued the continued transfer of the aircraft parts makes the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes being committed by Israel in its invasion of Gaza.
Other countries are also considering restricting weapons sales to Israel. Human rights groups in Britain have brought a similar suit against their government, attempting to block weapons exports to Israel.
Last weekend the International Trade Union Congress called on the 16 governments who stopped funding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — which include Britain — to reverse their decision.
This came after nine employees of UNRWA were sacked because of an unevidenced Israeli allegation that they had taken part in Hamas’s October 7 attack.
ITUC general secretary Luc Triangle said: “Restoring and increasing funding will not only relieve the humanitarian tragedy, it would also contribute to easing tensions as the essential work to bring about a durable ceasefire continues.”
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