No Halt to Export of F-35 Fighter Jet Parts to Israel –Dutch Court Ruling

Gaza reels under new massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: via Eye on Palestine)

A Dutch court has rejected demands from human rights groups to halt the government from exporting F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel.

The Hague District Court ruled on Friday that the Dutch government should be given a degree of freedom to determine political and policy matters when deciding on arms exports. 

“The considerations that the minister makes are to a large extent of a political and policy nature, and judges should leave the minister a large amount of freedom,” the court reportedly explained of its decision.

The rights groups, including the local branches of Amnesty International and Oxfam, said that Israel was using F-35 planes, for which the Netherlands supplied spare parts, in its aerial bombardment of Gaza. This results in the killing of civilians in large-scale bombings that may constitute war crimes. 

“Israel disregards the fundamental principles of the laws of war, such as distinguishing between civilian and military targets and the principle of proportionality,” in the Gaza bombings, the organizations said in their court submission.

The Netherlands is home to a regional warehouse that stores US-owned F-35 parts, which can be sent on to other F-35 partner countries such as Israel. 

The Middle-East Monitor reported that government documents show that several weeks after the October 7 operation by Hamas, the Dutch government allowed a shipment of reserve parts for Israeli F-35s. 

It further reported that the Dutch Defence Ministry, which oversees such exports, would not comment on the court case. However, in a letter to parliament last week the ministry said that, based on the current information, “it cannot be established that the F-35s are involved in grave violations of the humanitarian laws of war.”

Dagmar Oudshoorn, the director of the Dutch branch of Amnesty International, reportedly said when announcing the lawsuit that “the Netherlands is host country of both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court and likes to present itself as a champion of international law. But our government is losing all credibility at this point.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 18,800 Palestinians have been killed and more than 51,000 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.


(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out