Dutch Court Blocks Weapons Parts for Israel

With compliance ordered within a week, the Dutch government plans to appeal the ruling, which came Monday as the country’s  prime minister was visiting Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

The Binnenhof in The Hague, home of the Dutch Parliament and office of the prime minister. (Fred Romero, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

By Jessica Corbett
Common Dreams

With over 28,000 Palestinians killed by Israel so far in the Gaza Strip, a Dutch appeals court ruled Monday that the Netherlands must stop exporting parts for Israeli forces’ aircraft due to the “clear risk that Israel’s F-35 fighter jets might be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Oxfam Novib Executive Director Michiel Servaes, whose group filed the lawsuit against the Dutch government in December with PAX and the Rights Forum, declared that “this positive ruling by the judge is very good news, especially for civilians in Gaza.”

“It is an important step to force the Dutch government to adhere to international law, which the Netherlands has strongly advocated for in the past,” he added. “Israel has just launched an attack against the city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population are sheltering, the Netherlands must take immediate steps.”

Monday’s decision on the U.S.-made jet parts stored in a Dutch warehouse followed a lower court declining to intervene in December.

The new ruling came as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was in Jerusalem to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is waging war in retaliation for the Oct. 7 attack led by Hamas, which has governed Gaza for nearly two decades.

“It is a pity that this legal action was necessary and, unfortunately, has taken four months to come to this conclusion,” said Servaes. “The judge had ruled that the Dutch minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation was obliged to reexamine the arms export license to Israel, and that his decision was taken incorrectly.”

While the appeals court ordered compliance within a week, the Dutch government plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. According toReuters:

” ‘The delivery of U.S. F-35 parts to Israel in our view is not unjustified,’ Trade Minister Geoffrey van Leeuwen said. 

He said the F-35s were crucial for Israel’s security and its ability to protect itself from threats in the region, “for example from Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.” 

Van Leeuwen said it was too early to say what effect the verdict would have on Israel. 

‘We are part of a big consortium of countries that are also working together with Israel, we will talk to partners how to deal with this.’ “


Human Rights Watch (HRW) Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir called out the Netherlands for “shamefully” seeking to continue its military support for Israeli forces. 

Supporters of the Dutch ruling also highlighted that other countries, particularly the United States, have enabled the Netanyahu government, which claims to be targeting Hamas but has slaughtered thousands of civilians — including more than 12,300 children — leading to accusations of genocide from around the world. 

F-35A combat fighter jets on the runway at at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, before a combat exercise on Nov. 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force, Cynthia Griggs, Public domain)

Kenneth Roth, former executive director of HRW who is now a visiting professor at Princeton University, said on social media that it was “about time” for the Dutch decision. He added that the “undeniable” risk of exports being used for war crimes determined by the Dutch court “is equally true for parts sent by other nations.”

Explaining the potential limitations of the Dutch ruling, Gareth Jennings, aviation editor at the defense intelligence firm Janes, told The New York Times that “if one supplier isn’t able to deliver for any reason, the parts can be sourced from another.”

Therefore, the decision seems to be “a symbolic act rather than one having any meaningful effect on Israel’s F-35 fleet,” he said.

However, Oxfam’s Servaes stressed that “we hope that this verdict can encourage other countries to follow suit, so that civilians in Gaza are protected by international law.”

Appearing on Democracy Now! Monday, Palestinian American human rights attorney and Rutgers University Associate Professor Noura Erakat noted that both the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and a U.S. federal judge have found that Israel is “plausibly” committing genocide in Gaza.

Although the U.S. judge also found that the case about the Biden administration’s complicity falls “outside the court’s limited jurisdiction,” the ICJ case is proceeding and the court last month ordered Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza.

“We see Israel directly violating those provisional orders,” Erakat said, pointing to the rising death toll, blocked humanitarian aid, and continued commentary from Israeli leaders. 

“This is a warning to the world,” she added. “Israel must stop its genocidal campaign now.”

Jessica Corbett is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

8 comments for “Dutch Court Blocks Weapons Parts for Israel

  1. Arch Stanton
    February 13, 2024 at 14:07

    There’s nothing stopping the child killers getting these parts from ‘Genocide Joe Biden’.

    Please can everyone and anyone join BDS, every little thing helps

  2. Ian Perkins
    February 13, 2024 at 11:02

    Doeas anyone know if these Dutch parts are essential, and whether the Netherlands is the sole supplier?

    • Marika Czaja
      February 13, 2024 at 22:05

      Hallo, Ian
      Mr Google tells us: “F-35 is an American family of fighter aircraft whose parts are manufactured and owned by the US but are stored in a warehouse in a town in the southern Netherlands called Woensdrecht. They are later exported from the Netherlands to US Partners worldwide, including Israel.1 day ago”

      “The F-35 is the military’s state-of-the-art combat aircraft, and L3Harris is proud to be a supplier of advanced avionics components for this aircraft.”
      Regards, Marika

      • Ian Perkins
        February 14, 2024 at 10:14

        Thank you.

        I’ve since discovered:

        ‘F-35 parts are available elsewhere. “If one supplier isn’t able to deliver for any reason, the parts can be sourced from another,” said Gareth Jennings, aviation editor at the defense intelligence firm Janes.’
        (NYT, Dutch Court Moves to Block Export of Fighter Jet Parts to Israel)

    • Consortiumnews.com
      February 15, 2024 at 04:29

      The Associated Press reported: “The Netherlands is home to one of three F-35 European regional warehouses.”


      • Ian Perkins
        February 15, 2024 at 11:17

        Thank you, as well.

  3. February 12, 2024 at 19:47

    Alongside the International Court of Justice’s reaffirmation of a Dutch MIVD (military intelligence) report from October 2015 in their recent ruling regarding MH-17 (“ROBERT PARRY: Vindicated on MH-17 Reporting,” Consortium News, Feb. 7, 2024), this would appear to be another positive development courtesies of Dutch legal and governmental authorities.

    In far too many other cases, the country’s AIVD civil intelligence service (formerly BVD) has been at the heart of all manner of insidious intrigues, from spying on domestic citizens and politicians for purposes of blackmail and persecution, to involvement in chemical and nuclear weapons proliferation networks via their associations with Frans van Anraat and Abdul Qadeer Khan, to furthering Russian election interference narratives regarding “Cozy Bear” in 2016. In so doing, the AIVD / BVD has played the part of many other ignominious intelligence services that have been had to be restructured in the midst of major CIA-connected controversies, including the French SDECE, the Mexican DFS, the Italian SISMI, the Peruvian SIN, the Ecuadorian SENAIN, and others.

  4. Andrew Nichols
    February 12, 2024 at 17:13

    He said the F-35s were crucial for Israel’s security and its ability to protect itself from threats in the region, “for example from Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.”

    Racist scumbag. You can see the ancient roots of Afrikaner Apartheid in this statement.

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