Gaza victims take legal action against German chancellor, other politicians

A group of lawyers have filed a criminal complaint against top German government officials for supporting Israel’s “war crimes” and “genocide” against Palestinians. 

Nadija Samour, one of the lawyers, told Anadolu that German politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, are responsible for the “war crimes” and “genocide” in Gaza because of the arms exports to Israel in recent months.

“We filed a criminal complaint against the Federal Security Council, which is responsible for licensing arms exports and have been doing so, increasingly, tenfold since Oct. 7. They’re doing this in support of Israel and we think this is aiding and abetting genocide,” she said.

Samour underlined that Germany is a signatory to the UN Genocide Convention and is legally bound to prevent genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity from taking place.

“In 2002, the German parliament passed a law, called the code for international crimes. This code criminalizes war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide,” she pointed out.

“Under that law, Germany, has a clear obligation to prevent genocide and German state officials should use their leverage and employ all lawful means at their disposal to influence Israel to refrain from genocidal acts,” Samour said.

“This is the responsibility of the German state and since the German state isn’t taking its responsibility seriously, we are here to remind them that there are no double standards. Palestinian victims deserve justice as other victims worldwide and we are going to hold them accountable.”

The German government has rejected allegations of genocide against Israel.

Nora Ragab, a German-Palestinian who filed a criminal complaint against German politicians, said her uncle living in Gaza lost his life in Israeli bombardment.

“We can’t be just bystanders watching the genocide unfolding on our families and our people in Gaza,” she told Anadolu.

“We will try with as many tools as possible which are on our disposal to really put pressure on the government or the actors to put an end to the genocide,” she said.

“We can go to the streets, we can protest, but we think also that it’s important to take legal action to hold also the German government responsible for the actions,” Ragab stressed.

“I hope through this investigation, which hopefully will come, that we can also raise awareness among the people in Germany,” she stressed.

The legal initiative of Gazan families and German lawyers was supported by civil society organizations European Legal Support Center (ELSC), the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD) and Law for Palestine under the Justice and Accountability for Palestine Initiative.

The German government remains one of the strongest supporters of Israel’s military offensive, despite growing international outcry over the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Germany’s arms exports to Israel amounted to €326 million ($350 million), most of which were approved after Oct. 7, a tenfold increase in arms exports to Israel compared to 2022. Weapons imported from Germany make up 28% of Israel’s military imports.

Scholz has repeatedly vowed to maintain Berlin’s political and military support for Israel, arguing that Germany bears special responsibility for Israel due to its Nazi past.

Source: Anadolu

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