German court rejects Palestinian groups’ request to block arms exports to Israel

A Berlin court rejected an urgent request by a number of Palestinian residents of Gaza to stop the government from approving permits for the export of German weapons to Israel on grounds that they might be used in violation of humanitarian law.

The Palestinians were supported by several organizations including the European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Law for Palestine and the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, who allege that there are reasons to believe such violations are happening in Gaza.

The Berlin administrative court said the plaintiffs did not show that decisions on arms exports to Israel were actually pending, as Germany has abstained from issuing any this year, or that Germany is likely to permit exports in violation of its obligations under international humanitarian law.

The court also notes that the German government has the power to refuse arms export permits, attach additional conditions, or secure commitments from the recipient country to restrict the use of the weapons.


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