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War on Gaza: Dutch court orders ban on sale of fighter jet parts to Israel

Court of Appeals orders end to supply of US-owned F-35 parts to Israel within seven days over humanitarian concerns
A Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Schoenefeld near Berlin, eastern Germany, on 22 June 2022 (Tobias Schwarz/AFP)

A Netherlands court has ordered a ban on sales of F-35 parts to Israel, citing a "clear risk" that they could be used in violations of humanitarian law.

The Dutch Court of Appeals made its decision on Monday following an application from several human rights organisations that are concerned about Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

The court said that Israel did "not take sufficient account of the consequences of its attacks for the civilian population" of the enclave.

"The court therefore orders the state to put an end to the further export of F-35 parts to Israel within seven days," said the ruling.

"There is a clear risk that serious violations of humanitarian law of war are committed in the Gaza Strip with Israel's F-35 fighter planes."

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The appeals court overturned a ruling by a district court in December that had said supplying the parts was to a "large extent of a political and policy nature" that judges should not interfere with.

Dutch officials previously suggested that they may not be able to prevent the deliveries of the US-owned F-35 parts, which are stored at a warehouse in the Netherlands and then shipped to several partners - including Israel - via existing export agreements.

Humanitarian crisis

The ruling comes as Israel launched overnight air strikes on Rafah in southern Gaza, killing scores of Palestinians and stoking fears of an imminent offensive on the area, which is densely packed with displaced people.

The attacks targeted 14 homes and three mosques in Rafah, Palestinian officials said.

The Palestinian health ministry said at least 67 were killed in the strikes.

The Israeli military said it had "conducted a series of strikes on terror targets in the area of Shaboura in the southern Gaza Strip".

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It also said it freed two captives taken by Hamas during its 7 October attack in an overnight operation in Rafah.

The captives were identified as Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har. Both are in good condition, Israeli officials said.

At least 28,340 people have been killed in Gaza as of Monday, mostly women and children, according to the enclave's health ministry.

Most of Gaza’s displaced population - around 1.4 million people, including 610,000 children - have fled to Rafah because it was the only safe place left due to intense military operations in the rest of the Palestinian enclave.

The area around Rafah - estimated to be around a fifth of Gaza - has become a squalid tent city. The Palestinians there have nowhere else to go and are sheltering in makeshift tents or the open air, with little access to food, water, or medicine.

Doctors Without Borders has warned that "Israel's declared ground offensive on Rafah would be catastrophic and must not proceed".

"There is no place that is safe in Gaza and no way for people to leave," the group said in a statement.

Palestinians in Rafah told Middle East Eye on Sunday that the town is their "last resort".

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