Home Europe Germany Defends Itself Against Charges Of Aiding Genocide At The ICJ

Germany Defends Itself Against Charges Of Aiding Genocide At The ICJ

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Source: X

Germany began its defence on Tuesday at the International Court of Justice. It is being accused of “genocide” by Nicaragua for providing Israel with military and financial aid. According to a DW report, Nicaragua has asked the UN’s highest court to halt German military arms exports to Israel and reverse its decision to stop funding the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

Germany has since argued in its defence that Nicaragua had a “one-sided” view of the Israel-Hamas war. The head of the legal team for the country, Tania von Uslar-Gleichen said, “Where Germany has provided support to Israel, including in a form of export of arms and other military equipment, the quality and purposes of these supplies have been grossly distorted by Nicaragua.” She added that unlike Nicaragua Germany believed that Hamas also had obligations under international law.

The case follows another case before the UN top court, when South Africa took Israel to the ICJ accusing it of genocide. In its finding, Justice Joan E. Donoghue, the presiding judge of the ICJ stated in an interim order on January 26 that “at least some of the acts and omissions alleged by South Africa to have been committed by Israel in Gaza appear to be capable of falling within the provisions of the [Genocide] Convention.” It did not order Israel to cease attacks. The final ruling is not expected till many years later.

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What makes things more complicated is that the mood seems to be turning more anti-Israel within Germany. A recent opinion poll carried out in the country showed that critics of the Gaza assault have now doubled to 69% while support for Israel is now just 18%. Many Germans support more pressure on Israel. Even 600 German civil servants have recently written a joint letter to Chancellor Scholz demanding an end to all arms supplies to Israel from the country.

“Israel is committing crimes in Gaza that are in clear contradiction to international law and thus to the Constitution, which we are bound to as federal civil servants and public employees,” the statement said. The statement also requested that the German government pressure Israel for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip; that it renew payments to UNRWA, and that it “actively and resolutely advocates for the recognition of a Palestinian state.”