Nicaragua launches ICJ proceedings against Germany for aiding Israel in ongoing Gaza war News
International Court of Justice // Public domain
Nicaragua launches ICJ proceedings against Germany for aiding Israel in ongoing Gaza war

Nicaragua filed an official application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday instituting proceedings against Germany. Nicaragua claimed that Germany has been complicit in the genocide of Palestinians by Israel in Gaza during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, contrary to the Geneva Conventions. Nicaragua also applied for provisional measures.

Nicaragua’s application was made on the basis that Germany “failed to fulfil its obligation” under the Geneva Conventions to prevent “serious violations of peremptory norms of international law” in Gaza. Further, it alleged that, while Germany failed to prevent genocide from being committed against the Palestinian people, it has also “contributed to the commission of genocide” by “rendering aid or assistance in maintaining the illegal situation of the continued military occupation of Palestine.” To support the argument, Nicaragua pointed to “ongoing, unlawful attack in Gaza [and failing] to…render[] aid or assistance and not preventing the illegal regime of apartheid and the negation of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people.”

Nicaragua’s application claimed that, even when taking into account that allies of Israel would support an “appropriate reaction” to the attack by Hamas militants in Israel on October 7, 2023, “this cannot be an excuse for acting in violation of international law.”  Nicaragua called the invasion a “complete siege of Gaza [which has] destroyed entire neighbourhoods and mosques, shelled schools” with 136 “attacks on healthcare services.”

The application also detailed ways that Germany has allegedly contributed to Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people. The application reads, in part:

Germany has provided political, financial and military support to Israel, fully aware at the time of the authorization that the military equipment would be used in the commission of great breaches of international law by this State […] [T]he military equipment provided by Germany […] included supplies to the front line and warehouses, and assurances of future supplies such as ammunition, technology and diverse components necessary for the Israeli military.

The application noted that Germany stopped its assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which helps support the Palestinian people. Germany is not alone in suspending funding, however. Several countries, including the US and Canada, have suspended their funding for the UNRWA after reports emerged that 12 UNRWA staff members were part of the October 7 Hamas offensive on Israel and that even more members had links in one way or another to the organization which has been designated as a terrorist outfit by several countries, including the US and Canada and the EU.

Nevertheless, Nicaragua urged the ICJ to declare that Germany has failed in its obligations under the Genocide Conventions—specifically the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide—and its protocols. Nicaragua also called upon the court to order Germany to cease all aid and support to Israel.

The ICJ previously spoke to the issue of alleged genocide in the Gaza. On January 26, the ICJ ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent breaches of the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip. It also subsequently ordered Israel to implement a set of provisional measures aimed at preventing the genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.