The war between Israel and Hamas: The International Court opens hearings in the case brought by Nicaragua against Germany

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Nicaragua on Monday called on the United Nations Supreme Court to halt German military and other aid to Israel, arguing that Berlin's support enables acts of genocide and violations of international humanitarian law. In the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Opening Nicaragua's case at the International Court of Justice, the country's ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos José Arguello Gomez, told the 16-judge panel that “Germany is failing to respect its obligation to prevent genocide or to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.”

While the case brought by Nicaragua focuses on Germany, it indirectly targets the Israeli military campaign in Gaza following the Israeli aggression on Gaza. The deadly October 7 attacks When militants led by Hamas stormed southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people. More than 33,000 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health in the Strip. Its toll No difference Among civilians and combatants, but she said that women and children constitute the majority of those killed.

Israel He strongly denies She said her attack amounted to acts of genocide, saying she was acting in self-defense. Israeli legal advisor Tal Becker told judges in court earlier this year that the country was fighting “a war it did not start and did not want.”

But Nicaragua rejected this defense, in reference to Germany's support for Israel.

“It is surprising that Germany seems unable to distinguish between self-defense and genocide,” Arguello Gomez said.

Germany, whose lawyers will address the court on Tuesday morning, rejects the lawsuit filed by Nicaragua.

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German Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer told reporters in Berlin on Friday: “Germany has not violated the Genocide Convention nor international humanitarian law, and we will present this in detail before the International Court of Justice.”

Nicaragua asked the court to issue preliminary orders known as interim measures, including that Germany “immediately suspend its assistance to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment, for as long as such assistance may be used in violation of the Genocide Convention.” “And international law.

The court also wants to order Germany to resume funding for the UN relief agency in Gaza in addition to the assistance Berlin is already providing.

“It is in fact a pathetic excuse for Palestinian children, women and men in Gaza to provide humanitarian aid, including through airdrops, on the one hand, and to provide them with weapons and military equipment that are used to kill and exterminate them.” Daniel Mueller, a lawyer in Nicaragua, told the judges:

The court will likely take weeks to issue its initial decision, and the Nicaragua case will likely drag on for many years.

The hearing at the international court on Monday came amid growing calls for allies to stop supplying weapons to Israel Six-month campaign And it continues to destroy Gaza.

On Friday, the United Nations' highest human rights body called on countries to do so Stop selling or shipping weapons to Israel. The United States and Germany opposed the resolution.

Hundreds of British jurists did so, including three retired Supreme Court judges He called their government Suspending arms sales to Israel after the killing of three British citizens among seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen charity Israeli strikes. Israel said the attack on aid workers was a mistake resulting from a “mistake in identity.”

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It has been Germany for decades Strong supporter of Israel. Days after the October 7 Hamas attack, Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained why: “Our history, and our responsibility arising from the Holocaust, make it a permanent mission for us to defend the security of the State of Israel.” Legislators.

However, Berlin gradually changed its tone as the number of civilian casualties in Gaza rose, becoming increasingly critical of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and speaking out against the ground offensive in Rafah.

Nicaragua's government, which has historical ties to Palestinian organizations dating back to its support for the 1979 Sandinista revolution, was accused earlier this year by UN-backed human rights experts of war crimes. Systematic human rights violations “Amounts to the level of crimes against humanity.” The government of President Daniel Ortega strongly rejected these accusations.

In January, the International Court of Justice imposed Temporary measures He called on Israel to do everything in its power to prevent death, destruction and genocide in Gaza. These orders came as part of a case filed by South Africa accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention.

On March 28, the court ordered Israel to take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel and other supplies into the war-torn enclave.

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Associated Press writer Geir Molson in Berlin contributed to this report.

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