NGOs want Dutch to stop export of F35 parts to Israel

An F35 flies over the Netherlands. Photo:

A group of NGOs were in court on Monday in an effort to get the Netherlands to stop exporting fighter plane parts to Israel, arguing the move violates international law. 

Amnesty International, Oxfam Novib and The Rights Forum argue that shipping F-35 parts which are owned by the United States, but stored in a warehouse on Woensdrecht Air Base, makes the Dutch complicit in war crimes in Gaza. 

The NRC reported in October that the foreign ministry was aware that there were serious concerns over Israel’s attacks on Gaza but did not stop a shipment of the aircraft parts. The plane is used both for surveillance and for carrying out bombings. 

“The state must immediately stop the delivery of F-35 parts to Israel,” human rights lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld told The Hague district court. 

The government argues that exporting spare parts is above board. “On the basis of current information on the deployment of the Israeli F-35, it cannot be established that the F-35 is involved in serious violations of the humanitarian law of war,” the caretaker government wrote in a briefing to parliament. 

The Dutch have blocked the export of military equipment to Israel in the past. According to the NRC, between 2004 and 2020, the Netherlands refused to issue a permit for military goods to the country 29 times. 

The court has two weeks to issue a decision. 

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