World Court rejects emergency measures over German arms exports to Israel

By Thomson Reuters Apr 30, 2024 | 8:51 AM

By Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Judges at the International Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled against issuing emergency orders to stop German arms exports to Israel, adding that they remained deeply concerned about conditions in Gaza.

But the court also did not grant a German request to throw out the case, so it can move forward.

Nicaragua had asked the ICJ, also known as the World Court, to order Germany to halt military arms exports to Israel and to resume its funding of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, saying there was a serious risk of genocide in Gaza.

The court refused to issue any orders, saying that the current circumstances presented by Nicaragua were not such that the court needed to issue emergency measures.

“The court remains deeply concerned about the catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in particular, in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which they have been subjected,” presiding judge Nawaf Salam added.

Nicaragua accuses Berlin of violating international humanitarian law and the 1948 Genocide Convention by continuing to supply Israel with arms after ICJ judges ruled in January that it was plausible Israel violated some rights guaranteed under the genocide convention during its assault on Gaza.

That main case will move forward, and the next step will be a chance for Germany to raise a preliminary objection to the court’s jurisdiction.

It will likely take years before the ICJ reaches a final judgment in the case. The court has no way to enforce its rulings.

Israel strongly denies the genocide accusations. It launched its current military campaign in Gaza with the aim of destroying Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed during the Israeli campaign in Gaza, according to health authorities there, and the tiny enclave has largely been reduced to rubble.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Gareth Jones)