Nicaragua Petitions International Court to Cease German Arms Exports to Israel

Nicaragua began an official court case against Germany at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday in an effort to order the German government to cease all arms exports to Israel and to resume funding for the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, began on Monday, claiming that the Middle Eastern country is committing genocide against Palestinians.

An Ongoing Court Battle:

The court case was originally filed by Nicaragua in early March in a 43-page document detailing the nation’s case against Germany.

The nation’s ambassador, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, claimed that exporting arms to Israel was in direct violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention following an earlier declaration by the International Court that Israel may have violated the rights of Palestinians under the genocide convention during the Israeli offensive into Gaza.

Gomez stated that “serious breaches of international humanitarian law, including genocide, are taking place in Palestine” and are “being committed openly.” Before claiming that Germany “was well aware, and is well aware, of at least the serious risk of genocide being committed.”


Nicaraguan Ambassador Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez speaks to the media on the day Nicaragua asked the International Court of Justice to order Berlin to halt military arms exports to Israel. April 8, 2024. (Photo – Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters)

Germany is one of Israel’s largest contributors to military equipment, having sold 326.5 million euros worth of military equipment to the Middle Eastern nation in 2023 alone. Germany cut all funding to UNRWA in January following claims that 12 employees belonging to the organization participated in the October 7th attacks, which left over a thousand dead and over 250 others kidnapped by Hamas.

Gomez was joined by another Nicaraguan, Daniel Mueller, who is a lawyer in a Central American country. He stated that Germany’s aid missions are “a pathetic excuse to the Palestinian children, women, and men to provide humanitarian aid, including through airdrops, on the one hand, and to furnish the military equipment that is used to kill and annihilate them.”

Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, a legal advisor for the German Foreign Ministry, denied any participation in a genocide, claiming that Nicaragua’s allegations are “biased” before stating that “Germany does not, and never did, violate the Genocide Convention nor international humanitarian law, neither directly nor indirectly.”


Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, a legal advisor for the German Foreign Ministry. (Photo – Kurdistan24)

Germany will provide their defence in court on Tuesday.

Nicaragua has demanded five provisional measures in order to curb German support for Israel. With demands including that Germany cease “aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance, including military equipment,”

Another Case Against Israel:

The case presented by Nicaragua follows another case by South Africa against Israel, which was filed in December and began in January. In this case, South Africa claimed that Israel has failed to “prevent genocide” and is “committing genocide in manifest violation of the Genocide Convention.”

The case further brought forward a number of crimes, with those “in question including killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.”

South Africa’s case totaled 84 pages, which go into detail about the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Israel’s supposed violations of international law, a history of UN and Human Rights Organization missions and inquiries into Gaza, Israeli attacks against religious, healthcare, cultural, and educational sites, what they claimed to be statements of genocidal intent by numerous Israeli officials, as well as the violations of specific articles of the Genocide Convention.


A photo of South Africa’s legal team at the South Africa v Israel ICJ case (Photo from AN/ICJ).

However, a number of nations spoke against South Africa’s court case, with US State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller referring to the case as “meritless, counterproductive, and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.”

Following the first deliberations of South Africa’s court case, the ICJ demanded that Israel take measures in order to prevent a genocide in Gaza, later demanding that the nation arrange a number of humanitarian aid missions for civilians in Gaza. However, while the ICJ’s rulings are binding, the demands of the ICJ cannot be officially enforced, as the court has no legitimate means of enforcing its rulings. The bulk of its rulings rely on the political weight of the organization and the support of nations.

With this new filing against Israel, Nicaragua joins other nations in condemning Israel, some of which include Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, and a number of others.

Analysis:

While the ICJ is seen by the nations of the world as the final say when it comes to international law, the court’s rulings are, in essence, left up to the nations that the court rules against. This means that while the ICJ may rule against Israel, the Israeli government cannot be forced to abide by the rulings of the court.

This has been seen previously with the ICJ’s ruling against the Russian Federation, demanding that Russia suspend its invasion of Ukraine, a demand that fell on deaf ears. Some analysts claim that the ICJ’s previous ruling against Israel itself was violated as Israel launched further attacks against Gaza just weeks after the original ruling on South Africa’s case.

Trent Barr
Trent Barr
Trent Barr is an Intelligence Analyst for Atlas News. He has over ten years of experience and is trained in open source intelligence gathering. Trent Barr specializes in Latin American, German, and Vatican affairs while also holding an interest in Europe as a whole.

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