Top UN Court to Hold Hearings after Germany Accused of Facilitating Israel's Gaza Conflict

Israeli soldiers fire mortars from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position near the Israel-Gaza border, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli soldiers fire mortars from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position near the Israel-Gaza border, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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Top UN Court to Hold Hearings after Germany Accused of Facilitating Israel's Gaza Conflict

Israeli soldiers fire mortars from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position near the Israel-Gaza border, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Israeli soldiers fire mortars from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position near the Israel-Gaza border, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Preliminary hearings open Monday at the United Nations’ top court in a case that seeks an end of German military and other aid to Israel, based on claims that Berlin is “facilitating” acts of genocide and breaches of international law in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

While the case brought by Nicaragua centers on Germany, it indirectly takes aim at Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

“We are calm and we will set out our legal position in court,” German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sebastian Fischer said ahead of the hearings.

“We reject Nicaragua’s accusations,” Fischer told reporters in Berlin on Friday. “Germany has breached neither the genocide convention nor international humanitarian law, and we will set this out in detail before the International Court of Justice.”

Nicaragua has asked the court to hand down preliminary orders known as provisional measures, including that Germany “immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment in so far as this aid may be used in the violation of the Genocide Convention” and international law.

The court will likely take weeks to deliver its preliminary decision and Nicaragua's case will likely drag on for years.

Monday’s hearing at the world court comes amid growing calls for allies to stop supplying arms to Israel as its six-month campaign continues to lay waste to Gaza.

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 opposed the resolution.

Also, hundreds of British jurists, including three retired Supreme Court judges, have called on their government to suspend arms sales to Israel after three UK citizens were among seven aid workers from the charity World Central Kitchen killed in Israeli strikes. Israel said the attack on the aid workers was a mistake caused by “misidentification.”



Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
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Canada Navy Patrol Ship Arrive in Cuba on Heels of Russian Warships

The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer
The Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Margaret Brooke enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 14, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

A Canadian navy patrol ship sailed into Havana early on Friday, just hours after the United States announced a fast-attack submarine had docked at its Guantanamo naval base in Cuba, both vessels on the heels of Russian warships that arrived on the island earlier this week.
The confluence of Russian, Canadian and US vessels in Cuba - a Communist-run island nation just 145 km (90 miles) south of Florida - was a reminder of old Cold War tensions and fraught ties between Russia and Western nations over the Ukraine war, Reuters said.
However, both the US and Cuba have said the Russian warships pose no threat to the region. Russia has also characterized the arrival of its warships in allied Cuba as routine.
The Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine Kazan, half submerged with its crew on deck, sailed into Havana harbor on Wednesday after conducting "high-precision missile weapons" training in the Atlantic Ocean, Russia's defense ministry said.
Canada`s Margaret Brooke patrol vessel began maneuvers early on Friday to enter Havana harbor, part of what the Canadian Joint Operations Command called "a port visit ... in recognition of the long-standing bilateral relationship between Canada and Cuba."
Hours earlier, the US Southern Command said the fast-attack submarine Helena had arrived on a routine port visit to Guantanamo Bay, a US naval base on the tip of the island around 850 km (530 miles) southeast of Havana.
"The vessel's location and transit were previously planned," Southern Command said on X.
Cuba`s foreign ministry said it had been informed of the arrival of the US submarine but was not happy about it.
"Naval visits to a country are usually the result of an invitation, and this was not the case," said Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernández de Cossío.
"Obviously we do not like the presence in our territory (of a submarine) belonging to a power that maintains an official and practical policy that is hostile against Cuba."
A Canadian diplomat characterized the Margaret Brooke`s arrival as "routine and part of long-standing cooperation between our two countries", adding it was "unrelated to the presence of the Russian ships."
Russia and Cuba were close allies under the former Soviet Union, and tensions with Washington over communism in its "backyard" peaked with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Moscow has maintained ties with Havana.
When asked what message Moscow was sending, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday the West never appeared to take notice when Russia sent signals through diplomatic channels.
"As soon as it comes to exercises or sea voyages, we immediately hear questions and a desire to know what these messages are about," Zakharova said. "Why do only signals related only to our army and navy reach the West?"
The Russian warships are expected to remain in Havana harbor until Monday.