A Dutch court has ordered the Netherlands to halt the delivery of parts for F-35 fighter jets destined for use by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The decision came after the court upheld an appeal by human rights organizations, asserting that supplying these parts contributed to alleged violations of international law by Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
"The court orders the State to cease all actual export and transit of F-35 parts with final destination Israel within seven days after service of this judgment," declared the ruling. Judge Bas Boele, reading the decision, emphasized the undeniable risk that the exported F-35 parts could be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law, prompting cheers from individuals present in the courtroom.
Lockheed Martin Israel, the local division of the U.S. aerospace giant manufacturing the F-35, indicated to Israeli media that it had no immediate comment on the developments.
The F-35 parts in question, owned by the United States, are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to various partners, including Israel, through existing export agreements. Rights groups argued that by facilitating these transfers, the Netherlands was contributing to serious violations of humanitarian law in the Gaza conflict.
Government lawyers countered, stating that banning transfers of F-35 parts from the Netherlands would be meaningless, as the U.S. could deliver them from other locations. In December, the district court in The Hague had previously ruled that supplying the parts was a political decision, beyond the court's interference.
Reimer Veldhuis, a government lawyer, emphasized Israel's right to self-defense, asserting that it must respond to threats within the framework of international law. However, the government maintained that a clear risk of serious breaches of international law through the use of F-35s could not be established at the moment.
The court's decision is subject to appeal.
The ongoing Israel-Hamas war, triggered by a devastating October 7 attack by the terror group, has claimed thousands of lives. Gaza health authorities reported at least 28,000 casualties since the conflict's inception. International law experts suggest that human rights violations may be occurring on both sides of the conflict.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague, which adjudicates disputes between states, has called on Israel to do everything possible to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza. PAX Netherlands, one of the rights groups involved in the appeal, expressed confidence in a positive ruling based on this precedent.