ICJ rejects emergency measures over exporting German guns to Israel

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By Creative Media News

  • ICJ denies Nicaragua’s request for emergency measures against German arms sales
  • Germany’s arms exports to Israel minimal; court dismisses Nicaragua’s case
  • Court emphasizes international responsibilities, conditions not justifying interim measures

Nicaragua had petitioned the International Court of Justice to issue emergency measures regarding German arms sales to Israel. However, the request was denied because Israel’s invasion of Palestinian territory in Gaza posed a grave threat of genocide in Gaza. 

Nicaragua additionally requested that Germany reinstate financial support to UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, after Israel’s accusations that certain UNRWA personnel were implicated in the attacks that erupted the ongoing hostilities on October 7. 

It was decided 15-1 that the request was denied by the ICJ. “The situation does not necessitate the exercise of its authority under article 41 of the statute to prescribe interim measures,” said presiding Judge Nawaf Salam on Tuesday. 

The justices, nonetheless, denied the German request to completely dismiss the case. On the merits of Nicaragua’s case, the court will continue to hear arguments from both parties, a process that will almost certainly take months. 

Salam stated that the court “continues to be profoundly troubled by the deplorable living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, especially in light of their widespread and protracted lack of food and other essential provisions.” 

Furthermore, he stated that the court “deems it crucial to emphasize to all states their international responsibilities concerning the transfer of weaponry to parties engaged in armed conflict, so as to prevent the possibility that such weaponry could be utilized” to contravene international law. 

Nicaragua presented its case against Germany during a two-day hearing in April, alleging that Germany enabled genocide by being one of the largest suppliers of military equipment to Israel. 

The accusations have been refuted by Germany, whose attorney contends that Nicaragua’s case was hastily processed, founded on feeble evidence, and ought to be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. 

After the judgment, the German Foreign Office expressed its approval of the ICJ decision in article X. “Germany is not involved in the Middle Eastern conflict.” The ministry stated, “On the contrary, we are working around the clock to find a two-state solution.” “We provide the Palestinians with the most humanitarian assistance of any nation.” Our objective is to guarantee that humanitarian assistance reaches the inhabitants of Gaza. 

“However, we also see that this new spiral of suffering has been sparked by the terror of October 7,” the statement continued. Israel must defend itself against this.” “More than one hundred hostages remain in the grasp of Hamas, which is using the Gazanian people as shields.” 

During case hearings, Germany contended that its arms exports to Israel have been minimal since the commencement of the offensive on Gaza. 

The court observed that Germany had issued Israel a mere four export licenses for military hardware since the commencement of the conflict. Of these, one was for test purposes, two were for training ammunition, and one consignment contained “3,000 portable anti-tank weapons.” 

Berlin, which for decades had been an ardent supporter of Israel, progressively changed its stance in response to the escalating number of civilian casualties in Gaza. It grew more critical of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and opposed the idea of a ground offensive targeting the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. 

The dean of the human rights program at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Moataz El Fegiery, stated that the ICJ decision did not represent a victory for Germany. 

El Fegiery said, “The court reminded Germany that it is obligated under international law not to provide weapons that could be used to commit human rights violations.”

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The expert further stated that the document explicitly stated that current conditions did not justify the implementation of provisional measures. This implied that conditions might alter in the future, and a determination of this nature could be made then. 

Nicaragua’s case, according to El Fegiery, was a component of a “global mobilization” for Gaza that would almost certainly spark domestic litigation challenging arms sales. 

In January, the World Court in The Hague rendered a decision in a distinct case initiated by South Africa, which stated that the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, as protected by the genocide convention, faced an “imminent and tangible danger of incurring irreparable prejudice.” 

Israel, a non-party to the dispute between Nicaragua and Germany, categorically rejects the accusation that its operation against Gaza constitutes genocide and maintains that it is defending itself.

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