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The International Court of Justice rejected a bid by Nicaragua to force Germany to stop supplying arms to Israel, in a case where the Central American country argued Berlin was enabling acts of genocide in Gaza, the Guardian reported.

The court noted that Germany significantly decreased its military hardware sales to Israel since the beginning of the war, acknowledging that the arms sold were mostly defensive and that Berlin probed the exports’ potential of aiding war crimes. However, the court refused Germany’s demand to close the case altogether.

Nicaragua argued during hearings that Germany delivered 10 times more military equipment to Israel in 2023 than in 2022, for a total value of $350 million. In rebuttal, German lawyers said sales had fallen to $1 million by March 2024.

The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, found that only four war weapon export licenses had been issued by Berlin after Israel launched its offensive on Gaza following the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack. Two were for training ammunition.

The 16-judge panel voted 15-to-one against Nicaragua’s demands, which included compelling Germany to resume its financing to the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees. Germany suspended its donations in January after Israel claimed the agency employed pro-Hamas militants, though Israel has not provided evidence for its claim, a recent report found.

Welcoming the decision, the German Foreign Ministry insisted that “Germany is not a party to the conflict in the Middle East.”

Nonetheless, the ICJ reiterated its concerns about the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza, who are facing famine because Israel has limited the delivery of food aid.

Moataz El Fegiery, who oversees a human rights program at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, told Al Jazeera that the ICJ ruling was not a victory for Germany.

The court will continue hearings over Nicaragua’s claim that Germany is enabling genocide in Gaza this month.

Israel, which is not a party to the case, maintains that its military operations in the Palestinian enclave do not amount to acts of genocide.

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