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Germany ‘pathetic’ to supply aid to Gaza and arms to Israel, Nicaragua tells top UN court

Gallant tells US Israel has 'duty' to expand Rafah ground assault

Nicaragua hit out at Germany at the UN’s top court on Monday over its support to Israel, saying it was “pathetic” to give weapons to the Israeli government while simultaneously providing aid in Gaza.

“It is indeed 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… on the other hand,” Daniel Mueller, a lawyer for Nicaragua, told the court.

Nicaragua brought the case against Germany before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to demand that judges impose emergency measures to stop Berlin from providing Israel with weapons and other assistance.

“Germany was and is fully conscious of the risk that the arms it has furnished and continues to furnish to Israel” could be used to commit a genocide, said Alain Pellet, a lawyer for Nicaragua.

“It is extremely urgent that Germany finally suspend” such aid, he added.

Germany will respond in court on Tuesday but has already hit back at the allegations.

Sebastian Fischer, spokesman for the German foreign ministry, told reporters ahead of the hearings that “we reject the allegations from Nicaragua”.

“Germany has violated neither the Genocide Convention nor international humanitarian law and we will demonstrate this in full before the International Court of Justice,” he said.

Nicaragua charged that Germany could not be unaware of the suffering in Gaza, but nonetheless provided military support to Israel.

In a 43-page submission to the court, Nicaragua argued that Germany is in breach of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention, set up in the wake of the Holocaust.

“Germany seems not to be able to differentiate between self-defence and genocide,” Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, told the court.

Nicaragua asked the ICJ to decide “provisional measures” — emergency orders imposed while the court considers the broader case.

It is “imperative and urgent” the court orders such measures given that the lives of “hundreds of thousands of people” are at stake, it said in its submission.


– ‘Unjustified decision’ –


The ICJ was set up to rule in disputes between nations and has become a key player in the war between Israel and Hamas militants that erupted after the October 7 attacks.

In a separate case, South Africa has accused Israel of perpetrating genocide in the Gaza Strip, charges Israel vehemently denies.

In that case, the court ordered Israel to do everything in its power to prevent genocidal acts and recently toughened its stance, ordering additional measures obliging Israel to step up access to humanitarian aid.

The court’s rulings are binding but it lacks an enforcement mechanism — for example it has ordered Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine, to no avail.

Nicaragua has requested five provisional measures, including that Germany “immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment”.

It also calls on the court to order Germany to “reverse its decision to suspend the funding of UNRWA”.

Germany said in January it was halting funding pending an investigation into Israeli accusations that several UNRWA staff members took part in the October 7 assault.

“This unjustified decision contributes to the suffering in Gaza where children women and men are starving,” Mueller told the court.

Nicaragua said in its submission that “it could be comprehensible” that Germany would support an “appropriate reaction” by ally Israel to the October Hamas attacks.

“But this cannot be an excuse for acting in violation of international law,” it said.

On Friday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Israel had “no more excuse” to delay aid getting into Gaza.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war began with Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 Israelis and foreigners, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Palestinian militants also took around 250 hostages, about 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 34 the army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 33,175 people, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, while the United Nations has warned of “catastrophic” hunger.

About the author


Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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