German human rights lawyers file motion to stop arms exports to Israel News
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German human rights lawyers file motion to stop arms exports to Israel

Seven human rights lawyers filed a motion Friday in the Berlin Administrative Court to halt Germany’s arms exports to Israel. In the motion, the lawyers claim that the German government has committed the crime of aiding and abetting in the genocide of the Palestinian people living in Gaza by continuing to supply Israel with arms.

The initiative has been supported by several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), namely European Support Legal Center (ELSC), Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD), and Law for Palestine, under the Justice and Accountability for Palestine Initiative.

The lawyers based their motion off of several recent developments in international bodies, like the UN and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On Friday, for example, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a draft resolution calling for all member states “to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, the occupying Power…to prevent further violations of international humanitarian law and violations of abuses of human rights.” There is also the ongoing genocide case against Israel pending before the ICJ, led by South Africa.

There have also been allegations of international humanitarian law breaches mounting against Israel recently, with Human Rights Watch (HRW) releasing a report Thursday. In the report,  HRW claimed that an Israeli airstrike conducted on a civilian apartment building on October 31, 2023 constituted a war crime.

This is not the first time these same NGOs have attempted to get the German government to take action regarding the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. A month ago, the same NGOs  supported a criminal complaint against German government officials “for the crime of aiding and abetting genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza by providing Israel with weapons and issuing related export permissions.”

In March, the German Federal Foreign Office announced that “the humanitarian situation [in Gaza] is disastrous.” In response, the office increased its assistance by an additional 20 million euro.