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Lawsuits increase pressure on Germany over its arms exports to Israel

Lawsuits increase pressure on Germany over its arms exports to Israel

Several lawsuits filed in Germany by different NGO and the Nicaraguan petition before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague increase pressure on the Government in Berlin to stop the export of weapons to Israel.

The latest lawsuit was filed this Friday at the Berlin Administrative Court by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) with the support of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza and the Al Haq organization in Ramallah.

It was made on behalf of five Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip whose relatives have been killed during Israeli rocket attacks.

“A basic requirement for a rules-based and human rights-oriented German foreign policy is respect for the law in decision-making”ECCHR Secretary General Wolfgang Kaleck said in a statement.

Germany “It cannot remain faithful to its values ​​if it exports weapons to a war in which serious violations of International Humanitarian Law are evident,” he added.

The lawsuit demands that Germany suspend export licenses granted by the Government for the shipment of weapons to Israel.

ECCHR alleges that there are reasons to believe that Germany is violating its obligations under international law in accordance with the German Arms of War Control Act, as the category of weapons that Germany supplies to Israel is being “using it to kill and displace civilians, destroy civilian infrastructure in Gaza, as well as to control and limit the transfer and distribution of humanitarian aid.”

In 2023, he noted, Berlin granted a license for the export of 3,000 anti-tank weapons to Israel and a request for 10,000 rounds of 120-millimeter precision ammunition for Israeli tanks is still pending.

It has also exported a large number of other components, such as tank engines, making Germany the second largest supplier of weapons to Israel after the United States, the NGO stressed.

It is not the first lawsuit against Germany in the country itself, since just a week ago the Berlin Administrative Court accepted another complaint filed by three Palestinians from Gaza who demand that the shipment of weapons to Israel be stopped immediately.

According to several NGOs that filed the lawsuit, such as the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) or the Palestinian Institute of Public Diplomacy (PIPD), “There are reasons to believe that weapons are being used to commit serious violations of international law, such as the crime of genocide and war crimes.”

According to these organizations, last year Berlin approved arms exports to Israel worth 326.5 million euros, the majority after the Hamas attack on October 7, ten times more than the previous year.

The NGOs hope that the German court will rule in the same way as a court in the Netherlands, which in February ordered the Government to stop supplying F-35 fighter components to Israel since there is a risk that they will be used in violation of the International human right.

Other initiatives denounce in international courts the complicity of several members of the German Executive, including the chancellor, Olaf Scholz, for complicity in the “genocide” of Israel in Gaza.

The last is that of Nicaragua before the ICJ in The Hague, where Managua demands that Berlin immediately stop supporting Israel politically, economically and militarily.

The UN Human Rights Council has also urged countries to stop arms exports.

The German Government limits itself to stating that only the UN Security Council can order an arms embargo and that in any case arms exports are approved. “after careful examination on an individual basis and taking into account all arguments and facts”.

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Source: Gestion

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