A Dutch court ordered a ban on the export of F-35 spare parts to Israel

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Court ruling from The Hague claims to block all exports of fighter jet parts

An appeals court in the Netherlands has ordered the country's government to block all exports of parts for its F-35 fighter jets to Israel over concerns they were used in violations of international law during Israel's attack on Gaza.

As the Court of Appeal states in its announcement, the state must comply with the order within seven days, while it rejected a request by the government's lawyers to suspend the implementation of the decision pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. The government has eight weeks to appeal the decision.

“It is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 spare parts will be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the court said.

Israel's massive air and ground assault on the densely populated Gaza Strip in response to the October 7 massacre by Hamas has killed more than 28,000 Palestinians, according to health authorities in the Hamas enclave, and displaced more than 2.3 million people from their homes. Israel denies committing war crimes in its attacks on Gaza.

The Israeli Defense Ministry declined to comment on the Dutch court's decision.

“We hope that this decision will strengthen international law in other countries so that the citizens of Gaza are also protected by international law,” said Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes.

Civilian casualties

In a first ruling in December, a Dutch court did not order the Dutch government to stop exports, even though it said it was possible the F-35s contributed to violations of the laws of war.

The appeals court also said it was possible the F-35s were being used in attacks on Gaza, leading to unacceptable civilian casualties. It rejected the Dutch state's argument that it should not have re-examined the export licence.

The Netherlands houses one of several US-owned regional F-35 parts depots, from which parts are distributed to countries that request them, including Israel in at least one shipment since Oct. 7.

Judge Bas Boele said there was a possibility that the Dutch government would allow the export of F-35 components to Israel in the future, but only on the strict condition that they would not be used in military operations in Gaza.

With information from Reuters

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