Nicaragua files case at World Court against Germany for aiding Israel

Nicaragua files case at World Court against Germany for aiding Israel
Nicaragua on Friday accused Germany of facilitating genocide in Gaza in a case started in the International Court of Justice, by giving support to Israel.
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A view of the hall during the public hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on legal consequences of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territory on February 26 [Getty]

Nicaragua has filed a case at the International Court of Justice against Germany for giving financial and military aid to Israel and for defunding the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), the UN's top court said on Friday.

Nicaragua asked the ICJ, also known as the World Court, to issue emergency measures requiring Berlin to stop its military aid to Israel and reverse its decision to stop funding UNRWA.

The German Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The court usually sets a date for a hearing on any requested emergency measures within weeks of a case being filed.

According to Nicaragua's claim, Germany is violating the 1948 Genocide Convention and the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the laws of war in the occupied Palestinian territories.

"By sending military equipment and now defunding UNRWA which provides essential support to the civilian population, Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide," Nicaragua said in its legal filings.

Major donors to UNRWA, including the United States and Germany, suspended funding after allegations that around 12 of its tens of thousands of Palestinian employees were suspected of involvement in the October 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas.

Nicaragua's filing adds that emergency measures were needed because of Berlin's "participation in the ongoing plausible genocide and serious breaches of international humanitarian law" in the Gaza Strip.

This claim builds on the case South Africa brought against Israel for allegedly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

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Last month the ICJ said South Africa's claims that Israel violated the genocide convention were not implausible and ordered emergency measures, including a call for Israel to halt any potential acts of genocide in Gaza.

Israel has denied allegations of genocide and said it has the right to defend itself.

Under the genocide treaty countries not only agree not to commit genocide but also to the prevent and punish any possible genocide. It also makes complicity in genocide and attempting a genocide a violation of the treaty.

Germany is one of the largest arms exporters to Israel together with the United States, according to UN experts. 

On Friday, the European Commission emphasised that it was maintaining its funding of UNRWA while reviewing arrangements in light of the Israeli allegation.

The commission said it was releasing 50 million euros ($54 million) to the UN agency next week with a further 32 million euros to follow later.

Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, according to Israeli figures.

The group also took about 250 hostages, 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 31 that Israel says are presumed dead.

The health ministry in Gaza on Friday gave the death toll in the strip from the unrelenting Israeli retaliation as 30,228, mostly women and children.

On Friday a spokesman for the UN humanitarian office OCHA said that "if something doesn't change, a famine is almost inevitable" in the besieged territory.