NGOs sue Denmark to end arms export to Israel

A group of NGOs on Tuesday said they will sue the Danish state to end the Nordic country’s arms exports to Israel, citing concerns that its weapons were being used to commit serious crimes against civilians during the war in Gaza.

A Dutch court in February ordered the Netherlands to block all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel over concerns they were being used to violate international law in Gaza.

Amnesty International Denmark, Oxfam Denmark, MS Action Aid and Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq in a joint statement said they will sue the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police, which approves Danish sales of weapons and military equipment. They said they would file the lawsuit to a yet unspecified court within the next three weeks.

The Danish Foreign Ministry and the National Police did not have an immediate comment.

“For five months we have been talking about a potential genocide in Gaza, but we have not seen politicians take action,” Tim Whyte, Secretary General of MS Action, said in a statement.

F-35 fighter jet. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The humanitarian situation in Gaza

Israel denies committing war crimes in its offensive in Gaza, launched in response to an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas terrorists in which 1,200 Israelis were killed. Hamas claim over 31,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war.

Responding to the international outcry over the heavy humanitarian toll of its campaign, Israel has said it was doing all it could to minimize civilian casualties, blaming Hamas for fighting in densely populated areas.

The World Court in January ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians, although it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire as requested by South Africa.

Denmark is a signatory of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, making all its arms transfers subject to rigorous risk and human rights assessments.

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