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War on Gaza: Nicaragua takes Germany to ICJ for failing to prevent genocide against Palestinians

The Latin American country asks world court to issue provisional measures against Germany for failing to prevent genocide against Palestinians in Gaza
A demonstrator waves the Palestinian flag in front of the Peace Palace ahead of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in the genocide case against Israel on 26 January 2024.
A demonstrator waves the Palestinian flag in front of the Peace Palace ahead of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict in the genocide case against Israel on 26 January 2024 (Remko de Waal/AFP)

Nicaragua has formally submitted an application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Germany, accusing the country of both failing to prevent a genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, but also of having "contributed to the commission of genocide".

In its request, Nicaragua asked the ICJ to declare that Germany has failed to uphold its obligations under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide in Gaza, by providing support to Israel and by cutting funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (Unrwa). 

The application asks the court to "adjudge and declare" that Germany has violated international humanitarian law, including its obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977.

It also says the European country has failed to comply with other non-derogable international norms by aiding Israel's military occupation of Palestine, including the ongoing onslaught on Gaza.

Nicaragua also called on the World Court to order Germany to halt its aid and support to Israel.

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In a press release issued by the Nicaraguan government, Managua said that Germany provided Israel with "political, financial, and military support" despite knowing that "the military equipment would be used in the commission of serious breaches of international law".

It also noted that Berlin cut off assistance to Unrwa, a move that followed Israeli allegations that Unrwa staff members were involved in the 7 October Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel.

"Germany continues to disregard its obligations, and to actively facilitate violations of the rules of international law by Israel to the severe and immediate prejudice of the Palestinian people, particularly Gazans, and the international community," the Nicaraguan government said in its statement.

Middle East Eye reached out to the German embassy in Washington DC for comment on this story.

The filing comes after the Latin American nation sent a warning to Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada, saying it would take the countries to the ICJ over allegations that weapons they are providing Israel are being used in a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Latin American nations rebuke Israel's war in Gaza

Nicaragua was one of several countries, along with Turkey, Jordan, Venezuela, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Namibia, to support South Africa’s genocide case against Israel in January.

The ICJ delivered an interim ruling on South Africa's petition in late January, calling on Israel to refrain from impeding the delivery of aid into Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation.

Nicaragua threatens to take UK and others to international court over Gaza war
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It also ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent acts of genocide in the besieged enclave and to punish incitement to genocide.

Several Latin American countries have rebuked Israel over its assault on Gaza, which has now killed more than 30,000 Palestinians.

On Thursday, after Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for aid in Gaza City, killing at least 115, Colombia's president announced that the country would be suspending arms purchases from Israel.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva used the word genocide to describe Israel's military campaign in Gaza, causing a diplomatic row with Israel's government.

And just weeks after Israel began its war on Gaza, Bolivia severed diplomatic ties with the country in protest. Chile, along with Mexico, referred the conflict between Israel and Hamas over to the International Criminal Court earlier this year.

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