Germany, Nicaragua cross swords in International Court of Justice

Henry

On Monday, Nicaragua and Germany crossed swords in the United Nations’ highest court over the ongoing war in Gaza and this European country’s alleged complicity in “genocide” in Gaza.

Nicaragua argues that it is “pathetic” of Germany to offer aid to the residents of Gaza while it has also “supplied weapons to Israel”. However, a top German lawyer described the case as “very biased”.

Nicaragua has taken Germany to the International Court of Justice to demand that judges impose emergency measures to prevent Germany from supplying Israel with arms and other assistance.

Lawyers for Nicaragua argued in the court in The Hague that Germany is violating the UN Genocide Convention of 1948, which was drawn up after the Jewish genocide during the Second World War, by supplying Israel with weapons.

“It is absolutely pathetic to provide Palestinian children, women and men with humanitarian aid, and on the other hand provide military equipment (to Israel) that is used to kill them,” said Daniel Mueller, a lawyer for Nicaragua. said.

Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Netherlands, told the court that “Germany does not seem to be able to distinguish between self-defense and genocide”.

The court was requested to introduce interim measures while considering the merits of the larger case.

“Germany was and is fully aware of the risk that the weapons it supplied and continues to supply to Israel could be used to commit genocide,” said Alain Pellet, a lawyer from Nicaragua.

“It is extremely urgent that Germany finally suspends such aid.”

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

According to the country’s top lawyer, Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, Nicaragua’s case is “very biased”.

“Germany unequivocally rejects the allegations. We have never directly or indirectly violated the genocide convention or international humanitarian law,” she told reporters on Monday.

“On the contrary, Germany is committed to the maintenance of international law and this is what we strive for worldwide.

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

The court is also being asked to order Germany to reverse its decision to suspend funding to UNRWA (the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees).

Germany said in January that it was suspending this funding pending an investigation into Israeli accusations that several staff members at UNRWA participated in the attack on 7 October.

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

Nicaragua said in its presentation that it was understandable that Germany would support an “appropriate response” by its ally Israel to the Hamas attack of 7 October.

“But this cannot be an excuse to act in conflict with international law.”

‘Unjustified decision’

The International Court of Justice was established to rule on disputes between countries, and has become a key player in the war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

According to available information, more than 33,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war broke out after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. Most of the 33,000 killed are women and children, according to Hamas figures.

In a separate case in the International Court of Justice, South Africa accused Israel of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip, a charge that Israel vehemently denied.

In this case, the court ordered Israel to do everything in its power to prevent acts of genocide. The court also ordered that additional measures be taken obliging Israel to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Although the court’s rulings are binding, they are not enforceable. At the time, the court ordered Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine, without any success.