NGOs seek Dutch export ban for jet parts that may go to Israel

Court case on Dutch export of F-35 fighter jets parts to Israel at in The Hague

THE HAGUE (Reuters) -Lawyers for rights groups asked a Hague court on Friday to order the Dutch state to block all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts which might end up in Israel, including parts sent to the United States to build fighter planes destined for the Israeli army.

The court case, started by rights groups including the Dutch arm of Oxfam, flows from another district court ruling in February that the Netherlands cannot send F-35 parts to Israel over concerns the jets could be involved in breaking international humanitarian law in the war in Gaza.

According to the rights groups' lawyers, the Dutch state stopped direct export of parts to Israel but continues to deliver fighter jet parts to the U.S. and other countries which are then sent on or used in planes destined for Israel.

"The state must actively prevent that parts from the Netherlands reach Israel via a detour," lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld said.

Lawyers for the Dutch state told the court on Friday that the rights groups had a flawed interpretation of the earlier court ruling, and the legal end destination of component parts was the country where production takes place, not the country where a final product may end up.

"In these deliveries the United States (is) the end destination" as understood by European regulation, lawyer Reimer Veldhuis said, adding that the Netherlands was complying with the earlier court order.

The court is set to rule in the case on July 12.

(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Editing by Ros Russell)