Judges ruling exposes painful reality

Image: Tsafrir Abayov/AP/ANP

December 15, 2023

Oxfam Novib, PAX and The Rights Forum demanded the immediate halt of the supply of parts for Israeli F35 fighter jets in summary proceedings on 4 December. Today, 15 December, was the verdict. PAX considers it good news that the judge agreed with us that it is evident that the F-35 is being used in violation of humanitarian law of war. We would therefore have liked the judge to have met our demands.

The ruling of the interim order instituted by Oxfam Novib, The Rights Forum and Pax exposes a painful reality: through a legal ‘trapdoor’, the Dutch State continues to send supplies of (spare) parts for F-35 fighter planes to Israel. In doing so, the Netherlands is contributing to serious violations of humanitarian law of war in Gaza.


‘The court recognises that F-35 fighter jets are involved in war crimes,’ says PAX arms trade expert Frank Slijper, ‘We are appealing because we believe the Netherlands does have to re-evaluate the export licence and thus stop supplies to Israel.’

The foundation of arms export review

Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes: ‘The ruling has wider implications. If you accept this, you tear away the whole foundation under the system of arms export review. It undermines the Arms Trade Treaty system, the Dutch review system, and European regulations.’

The loophole used by the government is particularly painful for the people of Gaza, where the death toll has now exceeded 20,000. We therefore continue our fight for a necessary ceasefire and will raise the point of principle on appeal.

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