Germany faces Gaza genocide case at ICJ over arms sales to Israel

Nicaragua presses World Court to halt German arms sales to Israel and to resume funding of the UN aid agency

Nicaragua has filed a case against Germany at the ICJ, accusing it of aiding genocide in Gaza. Germany has refuted the allegations (photo: @CIJ_ICJ/X)
Nicaragua has filed a case against Germany at the ICJ, accusing it of aiding genocide in Gaza. Germany has refuted the allegations (photo: @CIJ_ICJ/X)

NH Digital

Nicaragua has called for the suspension of German weapons exports to Israel, citing concerns of genocide in the Gaza Strip, in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as per reports from BBC and Reuters.

The case, brought forth by Nicaragua, alleges that Germany's military support to Israel violates international humanitarian law, particularly the 1948 Genocide Convention, the reports added.

Nicaragua pointed out that Germany had ceased funding of the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA and according to papers filed with the ICJ, Nicaragua wants the UN's top court to order Berlin to resume funding of the aid agency, one of the few international bodies still operating in Gaza.

The proceedings of the case began on Monday, 8 April with Nicaragua's ambassador to the UN, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, arguing that Germany's continued arms sales to Israel exacerbate the risk of genocide in Gaza.

"There can be no question that Germany (...)was well aware, and is well aware, of at least the serious risk of genocide being committed," in the Gaza strip, Arguello Gomez said, reported Reuters.

The case builds upon a previous ruling by the ICJ in January, prompted by a similar lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel.

In that ruling, the UN top court found merit in South Africa's claims of possible violations of the Genocide Convention during Israel's military actions in Gaza. As a result, emergency measures were ordered, including calls for Israel to refrain from any actions that could amount to genocide.

How did Germany react?

Germany, however, has staunchly rejected Nicaragua's allegations.

"We note Nicaragua's lawsuit and we deny the allegations as unjustified," government spokesman Wolfgang Buechner said, reports BBC.

The head of Germany's legal team, Tania von Uslar-Gleichen said Nicaragua's case ignores "facts and the law." She also said, "unlike Nicaragua Germany is not blind to the fact that Hamas also has obligations under international humanitarian law", as per a DW report.

Berlin plans to present a comprehensive defense during the court proceedings, scheduled to continue on Tuesday, 9 April, the report added.

Germany, one of Israel's major arms supplier

The case has brought forward Germany's role as a major arms supplier to Israel.

As per reports from Reuters and BBC, according to data from the Economy Ministry, in 2023, Germany exported €326.5 million ($353.70 million) worth of military equipment and weapons to Israel, making it one of Israel's primary arms allies after the United States.

Nicaragua says Germany's arms sales to Israel, which saw a tenfold increase on 2022, make it complicit in Israel's alleged war crimes, the reports added.

As the court deliberates over Nicaragua's petition, the world watches closely, what consequences will ICJ's decision in this case have?

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