Berlin Court Rejects Gaza Residents' Plea to Halt German Arms Exports to Israel

A Berlin court dismissed a request from Palestinian Gaza residents to stop German arms exports to Israel, citing the absence of pending permit decisions and Germany's adherence to international humanitarian law. Supported by several organizations, the plaintiffs argued potential law violations in Israel's conflict with Hamas were a concern.

Reuters | Updated: 11-06-2024 23:32 IST | Created: 11-06-2024 23:32 IST
Berlin Court Rejects Gaza Residents' Plea to Halt German Arms Exports to Israel
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A Berlin court on Tuesday rejected an urgent request by a number of Palestinian Gaza residents to stop the government approving permits for the export of German weapons to Israel on grounds that they might be used in violation of humanitarian law.

The Palestinians were supported by several organisations including the European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Law for Palestine and the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy. These argued there were reasons to believe such violations were happening in Israel's war against the Hamas group that rules Gaza.

But the Berlin administrative court said the plaintiffs had not shown that decisions on arms exports to Israel were actually pending, as Germany had abstained from issuing any this year, or that Germany was likely to permit exports in violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law. The court also noted that the German government had the power to refuse arms export permits, attach additional conditions, or secure commitments from the recipient country to restrict the use of the weapons.

The lawyers' groups said the ruling was incomprehensible, adding that the government kept pending arms export applications secret, making it impossible to know of them in advance. Ahmed Abed, a lawyer from a Berlin legal collective, said the government's suppression of information about weapons and war crimes "puts the lives of our clients at risk".

Last year, Germany approved arms exports to Israel worth 326 million euros ($354 million), 10 times more than in 2022. But the volume of approvals fell to around 10 million euros in the first quarter of this year, according to Economy Ministry data.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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