Going to court again over F-35 parts

Image: Lex van Lieshout/ANP

May 27, 2024

Oxfam Novib, PAX and The Rights Forum are again starting summary proceedings against the Dutch State. We see that the state is not correctly implementing the earlier ruling by not stopping every export and transit of F-35 parts with final final destination Israel. Our attempts to get the government to clarify and fully comply unfortunately were unsuccessful.

The appael court in The Hague ruled on 12 February 2024 that the Netherlands must stop the transit and export of F-35 parts to Israel. The court ruled that there was a clear risk that Israel’s F-35 fighter jets would commit serious violations of the humanitarian law of war in Gaza. The government has since had a responsibility to stop any exports for which this risk exists.

Civilian deaths caused by F-35 bombings

That we are once again going to court is unfortunately inevitable. ‘Every day, children, civilians die in Gaza due to bombings. The F-35 is also part of those bombings,’ says PAX director Rolien Sasse, ’It is unacceptable that despite the crystal-clear court ruling, the State is not stopping all deliveries of F-35 components with final destination Israel. We regret that we have to go to court again to make sure the State fully implements the ruling.’

Every F-35 starts in the Netherlands

The European Regional Warehouse in Woensdrecht is responsible for distributing F-35 parts to customers in Europe and Israel. Dutch companies, including Fokker, make parts that are supplied to US companies for the construction of the F-35.  ‘Israeli F-35s are built in the US with Dutch parts, explained Liesbeth Zegveld, lawyer on behalf of the three organisations: ‘Every F-35 starts in Hoogeveen, at Fokker. That is not allowed and the State knows that. That is why we are asking the court to impose a fine on the State so that it actually stops every export of F-35 parts with final destination Israel.’

Oxfam Novib, The Rights Forum and PAX have repeatedly asked the government for clarification, but in the end we only received a copy of a parliamentary letter. In it, there is a clearly more limited interpretation of the ruling. We have not received answers to questions about the final destination of components for F-35s produced in the Netherlands.

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