Germany’s Gaza genocide: Nicaragua indicts Berlin at World Court
An activist prepares a sign ahead of a demonstration outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague, April 8, 2024. | AP

Nicaragua demanded Monday that the United Nations’ top court take action to halt German military aid to Israel, arguing that Berlin’s support enables acts of genocide and breaches of international humanitarian law in Gaza.

The case against Germany, at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, also indirectly takes aim at Israel’s six-month-old war, which has left tens of thousands of Palestinians dead and devastated Gaza.

The filing alleges that Germany is facilitating breaches of the Geneva Convention and humanitarian law by providing arms to Israel, which already stands accused of genocide at the same court by South Africa.

Nicaragua’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, told the 16-judge panel that “Germany is failing to honor its own obligation to prevent genocide or to ensure respect of international humanitarian law.”

Nicaragua has asked the court to order Germany to immediately suspend its aid to Israel.

On Tuesday, Germany, as expected, denied it was an accomplice to genocide. Much of the response made by its legal team hinged on the argument that because the ICJ has not yet determined Israel is committing genocide then Germany cannot be held as an accomplice.

Israel strongly denies that its assault amounts to genocidal acts, saying it is acting in self-defense after October 7’s Hamas attack, during which 1,200 people were killed. Germany said that until the court decides on South Africa’s case against Israel, then it should not impose any restrictions on Israel or Germany.

So far, more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry, around two-thirds of them women and children.

The court will likely take weeks to deliver its preliminary decision, and Nicaragua’s case will probably drag on for years. Dozens of flag-waving Palestine solidarity protesters demonstrated outside the court to show their support for this latest effort to hold Israel and its international backers to account.

Sliman Abu Amara, a Dutch citizen of Palestinian descent, said he was grateful to Nicaragua for taking Germany to court, noting “The irony is that Germany is actually behind the whole international convention on preventing genocide.”

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Germany is second only to the U.S. in supplying arms to Israel. It would be harder, if not impossible, for the U.S. to be brought before the court, however, because Washington does not recognize the ICJ’s power to compel countries to appear before it.

The U.S. also has not signed a protocol to the Genocide Convention that allows countries to bring disputes to the court.

On Friday, the UN’s top human rights body called on countries to stop selling or shipping weapons to Israel. The United States and Germany both opposed the resolution.