ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 150

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Lawyers try stop export of F-35 parts from Netherlands to Israel

An IAF F-35i fighter jet is seen during a major military drill dubbed 'Firm Hand,' in a handout image published by the IDF on June 8, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
An IAF F-35i fighter jet is seen during a major military drill dubbed 'Firm Hand,' in a handout image published by the IDF on June 8, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Human rights lawyers go to court in the Netherlands today to call for a halt to the export of fighter jet parts to Israel that could be used in strikes on Gaza.

The organizations allege that delivery of parts for F-35 jets makes the Netherlands complicit in what it calls possible war crimes being committed by Israel in its war with Hamas.

The rights lawyers want The Hague District Court to issue an injunction banning the export of F-35 parts that are stored in a warehouse in the town of Woensdrecht.

“The state must immediately stop the delivery of F-35 parts to Israel,” lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld tells the court.

Citing government documents, Zegveld says that Dutch customs asked the government if it wanted to continue exports after the Oct. 7 assault by Hamas that triggered the Israel-Hamas war.

“The warning that the fighter jets can contribute to serious breaches of the laws of war does not, for the (Dutch) state, outweigh its economic interests and diplomatic reputation.”

Government lawyer Reimer Veldhuis urges the court’s single judge to reject the injunction, saying that even if it were to uphold the rights lawyers’ legal arguments and ban exports, “the United States would deliver these parts to Israel from another place.”

He adds that Israel has the right to self-defense.

“Israel must be able to respond to threats from the region. That must, of course, happen within the framework of international law,” Veldhuis says.

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