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Germany faces domestic lawsuit over arming ‘Israel’


The legal action is aimed at the Green Party-led federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, which governs export licenses under the Weapons of War Control Act.

  • Germany faces domestic lawsuit over its arms sales to Israel
    German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during a surprise trip to Ukraine in May 2022 (AFP)

Germany will face a new petition to cancel all arms supplies to “Israel” on Thursday in a lawsuit that adds to the pressure on Berlin. A petition filed in German domestic courts will ask judges to swiftly instruct the government to withdraw all arms licenses provided to “Israel” since October 7.

Germany is “Israel’s” second major arms supplier behind the United States, and it undoubtedly provides more armaments than the United Kingdom.

Four human rights organizations filed the complaint on behalf of five identified Palestinians who reported their lives are in danger due to the collective punishment campaign by “Israel”. They have lost family, homes, and employment as a result of the Israeli aggression.

The legal action is aimed at the Green Party-led Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, which governs export licenses under the Weapons of War Control Act.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), one of the main litigants, expressed that “it is reasonable to believe that the German government is in violation of the arms trade treaty, the Geneva conventions and its obligations under the genocide convention – agreements that have been ratified by Germany.”

The action, expected to be addressed in writing, would have the biggest practical impact on Germany’s sale of 3,000 anti-tank missiles.

Wolfgang Kaleck, the ECCHR General-Secretary, stated that “Germany cannot remain true to its values if it exports weapons to a war where serious violations of international humanitarian law are apparent.”

No more excuses

Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has been increasingly dismissive of “Israel”, but Germany insists on protecting the occupation and its security for historical reasons.

Baerbock insisted that “Israel” should no longer offer justifications for delaying the delivery of aid to Gaza, following the Israeli government’s claims of plans to open additional routes for aid into the Palestinian territory.

“The people in Gaza need every aid package now… We expect the Israeli government to implement its announcements quickly,” Baerbock said on X.

“No more excuses,” she stressed.

Earlier this week, during hearings at the ICJ, Nicaragua stated that Germany is violating the 1948 Genocide Convention by aiding “Israel” militarily and financially, in addition to suspending funding to UNRWA.

Nicaragua asserted that Germany’s arms transfers to “Israel” gave reason to make it complicit in the war crimes, as it asked the ICJ to issue emergency orders against it.

In response, Berlin considers Nicaragua’s lawsuit against Germany with the ICJ accusing it of complicity in genocide in Gaza “unjustified” and rejects the accusation, German cabinet spokesperson Wolfgang Buechner said on Monday.

Rights lawyers pushing to stop German arms deliveries to ‘Israel’

Human rights lawyers have taken decisive action, filing an urgent appeal against the German government last week, which is aimed at halting the export of weapons to the Israeli occupation.

This legal move comes amid growing concerns about such weaponry being utilized in manners contravening international humanitarian law within Gaza.

The impetus for this legal action gained momentum following a Dutch court’s recent ruling instructing the Netherlands to cease all exports of F-35 fighter jet components to the Israeli occupation.

The court’s decision stemmed from apprehensions that these military supplies were being deployed in assaults targeting civilian locations within the besieged Gaza Strip.

In Berlin, the legal challenge, spearheaded by several entities including the European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Law for Palestine, and the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, was formally lodged in an administrative court.

This lawsuit represents the interests of Palestinians residing in Gaza, aiming to curtail arms deliveries and support provided by Germany to the Israeli occupation, which transgresses Germany’s obligations under the War Weapons Control Act.





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