The Dutch Court of Appeal has ordered the Dutch government to block all exports of spare parts for F-35 fighter jets to Israel within seven days. The court’s verdict stated that there is a clear risk that exported F-35 parts will be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law.
It is important to note that US-owned component warehouses are located in the Netherlands. A number of human rights organizations filed a lawsuit in the Dutch district court alleging that by supplying the United States with components for the F-35 combat aircraft, the Netherlands is facilitating the commission of war crimes.
The lawsuit alleges that the components allow Israel to bomb the Gaza Strip in disregard of the basic principles of war. It claims that there is no distinction between civilian and military targets and no proportionality in the bombings. This raises serious concerns about the implications of supplying spare parts for the F-35 to Israel.
The Dutch Court of Appeal’s decision to block exports of F-35 spare parts to Israel reflects the concern over potential war crimes that could result from the use of these components. The court has made it clear that the risk of serious violations of international humanitarian law is too great to allow the export of these parts to continue.