Several aid and human rights organizations have sued the Dutch government for its stance against the war in Israel and Gaza. The organizations believe the Netherlands is partially responsible for “violations of the laws of war and collective punishment of Gazan civilians” by exporting weapons to Israel.
Action briefs are produced by Oxfam Novib, Amnesty International, PAX and The Rights Forum. It is assisted by lawyers Liesbeth Jeckveld and Thomas van der Soman. In summary measures, they require the government to act in accordance with its own policy frameworks, (constitutional) legal obligations and international agreements. Because they say that is not happening now.
According to the organizations, for example, the government refuses to speak publicly to Israel, which they see as “flagrant violations of the laws of war.” Also, the Netherlands is said to have recently supplied Israel with parts for F-35 fighter jets. According to the NRC, foreign affairs lawyers warned of the dangers of violating the laws of war.
The organizations also cite another NRC article about a classified document from the security attaché at the Dutch embassy in Tel Aviv that says Israel is using “proportionate force” in its war with Hamas.
“It is an unprecedented step for us to go to court, but if necessary, unfortunately there is no other option,” said Michael Servais, Oxfam’s director of innovation. According to him, it is almost unbelievable that the bombings in Gaza, which make aid “impossible”, are taking place with Dutch military support.
According to Dagmar Odshoorn of Amnesty International, the Netherlands wants to present itself as a champion of international law. “But our government is losing all credibility at this point.” He believes that obvious violations such as the forced displacement of people and the bombing of schools, hospitals and journalists are not mentioned. “By supplying weapons parts, the Netherlands risks becoming complicit in violations of international humanitarian law.”
PAX’s Martje van Nes points out that exports of “military goods are strictly prohibited when they contribute to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law” (weapons).
Minister Hanke Bruins Slot (Foreign Affairs) does not want to expect a lawsuit, he says in an answer. (AP)
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