Geneva Council Issues Urgent Appeal to Halt Dutch Arms Sales to Israel


Geneva Council today has issued a stark warning to the Dutch government against its plans to export F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel. In a groundbreaking legal challenge, human rights groups Oxfam Novib, PAX, and The Rights Forum have filed a petition with the Hague District Court to halt these exports, citing the potential for Dutch complicity in war crimes.

We strongly urge that The Netherlands must not allow its arms exports to be used to inflict suffering on innocent civilians, and The Dutch government has a moral and legal obligation to prevent the export of weapons that could be used to commit war crimes.

The Israel-Hamas war has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties, many of whom were killed in attacks by Israeli fighter jets, including F-35s. The human rights groups contend that the Dutch government’s decision to export F-35 parts could escalate the conflict and lead to further civilian casualties in future engagements.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the EU Common Position on Arms Exports Control explicitly prohibit the export of arms that could be used to violate human rights or international humanitarian law. The Dutch government’s decision to export F-35 parts to Israel clearly violates these obligations.

The Dutch government has attempted to defend its decision by arguing that it must balance its obligations under international law with its foreign policy and security considerations. However, the human rights groups and the Geneva Council maintain that these considerations should not override the Netherlands’ fundamental obligations to protect human rights.

“The Dutch government must prioritize the protection of civilians over its political interests,” emphasized Oxfam Novib War and Conflict Director Liesbeth van der Weerd. “The export of F-35 parts to Israel is a reckless decision that could have devastating consequences for innocent lives.”

The Hague District Court is expected to rule on the petition on December 15. The Geneva Council calls upon the court to uphold the rule of law and prevent the Netherlands from becoming complicit in human rights abuses.

The Dutch government must not turn a blind eye to the potential for its arms exports to be used for illegal purposes. We urge the court to send a clear message that the Netherlands will not tolerate exports that could contribute to war crimes or human rights violations.

The Geneva Council requests the international community to join forces in condemning the Dutch government’s decision and calling for an immediate halt to the export of F-35 parts to Israel.

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