In a landmark decision, a court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to stop all transfers of parts for the F-35 aircraft in use in Israel from warehouses of the American army in the country. This comes after human rights organizations in the Netherlands filed an appeal against the Dutch government’s decision to approve the export, citing concerns about human rights violations and war crimes. The court ruled that the exports must be stopped within seven days, stating that there is a “clear and immediate risk” of human rights violations in the Gaza Strip caused by the F-35 aircraft used by the Israeli Air Force.
The ruling is based on international treaties that the Netherlands is a signatory to, which require the country to prohibit the export of weapons if there is a significant fear of violations of international law. The court also stated that the government’s decision not to intervene in the parts export agreement signed in 2016 is a violation of the country’s obligations according to international treaties.
The immediate consequences of this court order are not yet clear, as Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of spare parts for F-35 fighter jets may be able to supply them from other bases located in Europe. However, this case has been ongoing for months and it has raised important ethical and legal questions about arms sales and human rights violations in conflict zones.
Human rights organizations including Dutch branches of Oxfam, PAX organization and Rights Forum have filed this appeal against Dutch government’s decision on exporting F-35 spare parts to Israel. This decision will have significant impact on international diplomatic relations and military equipment export policy as well as raising ethical and legal questions about arms sales and human rights violations in conflict zones.