Nicaragua sues Germany at International Court of Justice over arms supply to Israel

Nicaragua, a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause, is expanding its legal battle at the International Court of Justice over the Gaza conflict with a lawsuit against Germany, Israel’s main arms supplier.

Nicaragua claims that “Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide” in the Gaza Strip and is violating the Genocide Convention by providing military and financial aid to Israel. He is calling for emergency measures to order Berlin to end wartime aid to Israel.

At a hearing starting Monday in a courtroom in The Hague, Nicaragua will also argue that Germany has allowed Israel to commit serious violations of the Geneva Conventions, particularly the obligation to protect civilians during armed conflict.

A lawsuit filed by Nicaragua raises new questions about the responsibility of the country that supplied arms to Israel in the Gaza war.

Lawyers say Germany, Israel’s second-largest arms supplier after the United States, is an easier target for lawsuits than the United States. Germany granted full jurisdiction to the United Nations’ highest court, the International Court of Justice. However, the United States denies such jurisdiction except where Washington expressly consents.

The Nicaraguan case is the third case to come before the court this year dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

South Africa first sought emergency action from the court, arguing that Israel was at risk of committing genocide, an argument the court found plausible, which Israel strongly denied. The court ordered Israel to ensure that its citizens and soldiers do not violate genocide conventions to which Israel is a signatory. The Convention prohibits acts aimed at destroying, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

South Africa also petitioned the ICJ over the famine in the Gaza Strip and obtained a new ruling ordering Israel to allow the delivery of food, water and other vital supplies “without delay”. Israel has strongly denied accusations of deliberate starvation in Gaza.

In February, the tribunal also took up a case requested by the United Nations General Assembly regarding the legality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. These hearings were planned before the war and heard from more than 50 countries, most of whom expressed anger and frustration over Israel’s attack on Gaza and the worsening death toll of civilians, many of them children. .

The Nicaraguan case is much broader in scope than the South African case, raising violations of both the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Genocide, and seeking protection for civilians. It also accuses Israel of other “illegal” acts in the occupied territories.

Although the court has not yet accepted the case, it is obligated to respond quickly to requests for emergency measures, such as in this case.

Israel, which is not a party to the conflict between Nicaragua and Germany, will not appear at this week’s hearing, which is expected to last two days.

Recent intense courtroom activity has put it in a rare spotlight. Lawyers say the countries are going to court because efforts by the United Nations and other negotiators have so far failed to stop the war in Gaza.

“The ICJ is not going to end the war in Gaza, but it is a diplomatic tool used by foreign policy to put further pressure on Israel,” said Brian Finucane, a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group, a conflict resolution think tank. Ta. . “In the case of Nicaragua, there will be even more pressure on Germany.”

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