Nicaragua is suing Germany before the International Court of Justice for its continued support of Israel. It is about complicity in genocide.

A group of protesters stand in front of the court with signs that read: We all know, Germany Racist state Terrorist state of Israel, Never again: Guernica, Coventry, Dresden... And then Gaza Rafah?

Protest in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague in support of the Palestinians Photo: Piroschka Van De Wouw/Reuters

HAGUE taz | Germany is allowing a genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and is failing in its obligation to do everything in its power to prevent the genocide. This is the core of a lawsuit that Nicaragua filed against the Federal Republic of Germany before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in March. This requires ad hoc measures against Germany to immediately stop support for Israel. The hearings began Monday in The Hague.

The lawsuit is based on Germany's general obligation as a signatory to the United Nations Convention for the Prevention of Genocide. Added to this in this specific case is Israel's “political, financial and military” support during the war in the Gaza Strip. This represents “a recognized risk of genocide against the Palestinian people,” referring to the ICJ's interim ruling in January in the case of South Africa's genocide claim against Israel.

Since this case, international justice has become an important theater of the Middle East war. It could be years before the ICJ rules. Therefore, for the acute situation, the level of ad hoc measures is more important. In January, the Court ruled that Israel must take measures to prevent genocide and improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. At the end of March, another decision was made: Israel must do more to improve the drastic humanitarian situation.

According to Dutch media reports, seven of the 15 judges are now in favor of ordering an immediate ceasefire, a measure that was not considered necessary in January. The upcoming offensive in Rafah could make that move likely. The ICJ's decisions are binding, but it has no authority to implement them. But they show that pressure on Israel is increasing.

Protests in front of the court

This was also demonstrated by Monday's demonstration in front of the court. Although only a few dozen protesters were present this time, the signs thanking South Africa, Nicaragua and Colombia for their “bravery” were obvious. Colombia also declared last week that it supported the genocide lawsuit against Israel. Germany spoke out in January against the South African initiative and offered to support Israel as a third party in The Hague.

Germany's special relationship with Israel was discussed on Monday not only by the “It is never again now“-Cloth of tension among the protesters. Carlos Argüello Gómez, representative of Nicaragua before the ICJ, also referred to the “reason of State” of German support for Israel. This is understandable in the context of history, but here the Jewish people are confused with the State of Israel.

For Argüello Gómez, who led the Nicaraguan delegation, it was already clear that “serious violations of international law, including genocide,” were taking place in the Gaza Strip, as “probably seen by the majority of the world's population in the news and on social media.” social”. media.” Alain Pellet, professor emeritus of law at the University of Paris Nanterre, who represents Nicaragua as a lawyer, expressed himself in a more nuanced way: The obligation to prevent genocide does not apply only once it has already begun. – “that would be absurd, because it is about prevention.” He cited the “serious risk” of genocide that the Court determined in January.

Pellet emphasized several times that Germany was not accused of committing genocide. However, the Federal Republic will not fulfill its contractual obligations to prevent this. Lawyer Daniel Müller, also part of the delegation, especially denounced the continued arms exports to Israel. According to a recent report, Germany is Israel's second largest arms supplier. Export licenses would have to be suspended if there were indications that military equipment was being used to violate international law. This also applies to the fight against terrorists. The goal of defeating them does not justify the suffering of the Palestinian people.

Müller called on the Court to take immediate action in view of the “catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza.” In addition to immediately suspending military support, Germany must also resume suspended funding for the UNWRA aid organization. The hearing of the German delegation is scheduled for Tuesday.