A Dutch appeals court ruled Monday that the country must stop exporting F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel over concerns that the jets are being used to commit war crimes in the war. Israel-Hamas.
The halt is one of the strongest pushback from European countries against Israel’s war effort, which has come under increased scrutiny as Palestinian deaths in the conflict have passed 28,000 since October. Israel denies committing war crimes.
“It cannot be denied that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the court wrote, siding with the humanitarian groups that sued the government to stop exports.
“Israel neglected to adequately account for the consequences for the civilian population when conducting its attacks,” the court continued.
Parts of the F-35, owned by the US government, are stored in a warehouse in the Netherlands. The court decision will prevent them from exporting to Israel.
The Dutch government announced that it will appeal the decision of the Supreme Court, claiming that the judicial system has no right to make foreign policy decisions.
“We are part of a large consortium of countries that also cooperate with Israel. We will talk with partners about how to deal with this,” said Dutch trade minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen, according to Reuters.
Israeli cabinet minister Benny Gantz met Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday and praised the appeal decision.
“I accept the decision, and reiterate that the court’s decision harms the global and Israeli imperative to fight terrorism,” he said in a post on XTwitter used to be.
The order comes as the International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Netherlands but unrelated to the national government, considers a case led by South Africa that Israel committed a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
The Israeli military is expected to launch a ground offensive in the Gaza city of Rafah, on Egypt’s southern border, in the coming days following evacuation orders and airstrikes.
Israel’s land campaign in Gaza has flattened much of Gaza, uprooting nearly all of the region’s 2.3 million people from their homes and forcing 90 percent into starvation, the United Nations said.
Rafah is considered the last “safe zone” for civilians in Gaza, after months of forced displacement from other parts of the region. World leaders urged the Israeli government not to push the city.
Both the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have warned they could cut diplomatic ties with Israel if the ground invasion continues, undoing decades of American-led occupation in the region.
President Biden warned Sunday that the Israeli government needs a “credible” plan to protect Palestinian civilians in the area if it continues its assault on Rafah.
Biden has criticized Israel in recent days, calling its military response to Gaza “over the top,” at a press conference on Friday. He is reportedly fed up with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in private for not listening to advice on the conflict, repeatedly calling him an “asshole” and other names.
Biden administration officials have also criticized Israel in recent private meetings with Democratic leaders, signaling rising tensions between Biden and Netanyahu, longtime friends.
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