Germany court rejects motion to stop arms exports to Israel News
IDF Spokesperson's Unit, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Germany court rejects motion to stop arms exports to Israel

Germany’s Berlin Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit on Tuesday in which several Palestinian applicants sought to prohibit the German government from supplying arms to Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza. The motion was supported by several human rights organizations, including the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

In particular, the five applicants claimed that Germany was violating its obligations under international law as well as several other human rights law obligations and the EU Common Position on Arms Export Control. According to Section 6 of the German Weapons of War Control Law (Kriegswaffenkontrollgesetz), authorization of weapons transfers is prohibited if they breach Germany’s obligations under international law.

Nevertheless, the Berlin Administrative Court rejected the application. According to the court, the applicants had applied for preventative interim protection, which is inadmissible if future government decisions and the factual and legal conditions under which they will be made cannot be foreseen with certainty. Additionally, the court believed that the applicants had disregarded the scope for decision-making granted to the German government regarding alternative courses of action.

According to the German news website Der Spiegel, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights said in a press release that they “had hoped to receive justice in Germany to the extent that their cases would be heard and legally decided” and that the “application failed mainly due to the fact that the German government does not currently authorize the export of weapons of war to Israel.”

This was not the only lawsuit filed against the German government relating to the war in Gaza. In April, several human rights lawyers filed a motion to the Berlin Administrative court claiming that Germany’s past arms exports to Israel constituted the crime of aiding and abetting in the genocide of the Palestinian people living in Gaza. A similar motion was filed by Nicaragua at the International Court of Justice, alleging that Germany’s arms sale violated the Geneva Conventions and made Germany complicit in the genocide of Palestinians.