Court Orders Netherlands To Halt F-35 Parts For Israel

According to Reuters, a court has ordered the Netherlands to halt F-35 parts for Israel due to concerns that the transfer may aid in human rights breaches.

Court Orders Netherlands To Halt F-35 Parts For Israel 1

The biggest dread of Israel is starting to come true. Despite years and years of efforts to keep a worldwide boycott campaign from ever taking off due to repeated claims that it violates the human rights of Palestinians, there are indications that the movement in favor of the boycott is gathering momentum in light of the ongoing conflict and the rising number of civilian deaths in Gaza.

A Dutch appeals court has ordered the Dutch government to stop exporting any F-35 fighter jet parts because of concerns that the transfer may aid in human rights breaches.

Court Orders Netherlands To Halt F-35 Parts For Israel 2
Image source: Israel Defense Forces

According to Reuters, the court declared, “It is undeniable that there is a clear risk the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Israel is one of the few countries with fully functional domestic drone development and production capabilities, and in the Gaza war, Israel extensively used UAVs.

Since October 7, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip nonstop as part of the military campaign to drive out Hamas. However, the war has claimed a staggering number of innocent lives. According to Gaza’s health professionals, the ground and air assault has resulted in more than 28,000 deaths.

Though trade minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen acknowledged that “the delivery of US F-35 parts to Israel in our view is not unjustified,” defense authorities were not amused. According to him, Israel needs F-35s to be protected from the numerous regional threats it confronts, such as those from Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.”

The court stated that “the state had to comply with the order within seven days and dismissed a request by government lawyers to suspend the order pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.”

According to reports, a potential workaround is in the works that would entail shipping the aircraft components to Israel in exchange for assurances from the government that the parts wouldn’t be used for F-35s flying over Gaza.

It’s interesting to note that the court ruling poses a threat to an important US defense equipment pipeline to Israel:

The appeals court also said it was likely the F-35s were being used in attacks on Gaza, leading to unacceptable civilian casualties. It dismissed the Dutch state’s argument that it did not have to do a new check on the permit for the exports.

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

The government said it would try to convince partners it would remain a reliable member of the F-35 program and other forms of international and European defense cooperation.

Amidst the ongoing ‘genocide’ case against Israel by South Africa before the International Court of Justice, humanitarian pressure on Israel keeps growing.

The head of EU foreign policy Josep Borrell is the most recent to call on supporters of Israel to cut off all military aid to the Jewish State. On Monday, he bemoaned the fact that “too many people” were dying in Gaza. However, his comments also brought attention to the West’s hypocrisy in continuing to arm Israel while denouncing the number of deaths caused by its acts.

In response to Joe Biden’s statement from last week that Israel’s military action was “over the top,” Borrell stated, “Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide fewer arms to prevent so many people having been killed.”

“How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed?” Borrell asked. “If the international community believes that this is a slaughter, that too many people are being killed, maybe we have to think about the provision of arms.”

This contentious conversation transpired Monday afternoon as well.

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