BERLIN — A Dutch appeals court has ruled that the Dutch government must suspend shipments of F-35 fighter jet components to Israel due to the Israeli military’s continued assault on the Gaza Strip .
“The court finds that there is a clear risk that Israeli F-35 fighter jets will be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,” the court said Monday.
The Dutch branch of the international humanitarian group Oxfam, as well as two other non-governmental human rights groups that took the government to court in December, welcomed the decision.
“This positive decision by the judge is very good news, especially for civilians in Gaza,” Oxfam said in a statement. “This is an important step in forcing the Dutch government to adhere to international law.”
Israel denies violating international law, saying it is fighting in Gaza to crush Hamas and secure the release of hostages after the Palestinian militant group’s deadly attack on Israel on October 7.
But the court said that “Israeli attacks on Gaza have resulted in a disproportionate number of civilian casualties, including thousands of children.”
He ordered the Dutch government to implement the decision within seven days and said the state had eight weeks to appeal the decision.
The government says it will implement the decision but is appealing to the Dutch Supreme Court.
“In the opinion of the government, the distribution of U.S. F-35 parts is not illegal,” the government said in a statement. He said the court failed to consider the role of the state in determining foreign policy.
Lockheed Martin’s Israeli division said it was assessing the impact the court’s ruling could have on its supply chain, The time of Israel reported.
The United Kingdom faces a similar action, brought by two human rights groups, to try to prevent arms exports to Israel.
The court announced its decision as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is traveling to Israel to discuss the conflict with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The news follows a night in which Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip that killed at least 50 people, according to health officials in the territory.
The Israeli military said Monday that its special forces had rescued two hostages held there.
Israeli bombings have killed more than 28,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry. He launched the military campaign after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack that killed 1,200 people and took some 240 hostage, according to Israeli officials.
Rob Schmitz reported from Berlin; Alex Leff of Washington, D.C.
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