Why the Provisional Measures Order in Nicaragua v. Germany Severely Limits Germany’s Ability to Transfer Arms to Israel

Published 02 May 2024 Author: Stefan Talmon

In response to the barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023, Israel, in exercising the right to self-defence, embarked on an extensive aerial bombardment of Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip followed by a large-scale ground invasion of the territory. In the words of Judge Al-Khasawneh, Israel’s military operation has given rise to ‘an ongoing human tragedy of semi-apocalyptic proportions’. The events in the Gaza Strip triggered South Africa in December 2023 to institute proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of breaches of the Genocide Convention, including the commission of genocidal acts against the Palestinians in Gaza. (more…)

Why the Provisional Measures Order in Nicaragua v. Germany Severely Limits Germany’s Ability to Transfer Arms to Israel Read More

The Modernised German Nationality Law and the Pitfalls of Allowing Unrestricted Multiple Nationality

Published: 16 April 2024  Author: Stefan Talmon

For a long time, the avoidance of multiple nationality, that is, the simultaneous possession of two or more nationalities by the same person, was one of the principles of German nationality law. This changed on 26 June 2024, when the Law to Modernise the Nationality Law entered into force. The modernisation law abandoned the principle of avoiding multiple nationality and allowed Germans to hold multiple nationalities. One of the declared aims of the law was to adapt the existing Nationality Law to ‘the requirements of an immigration society’. (more…)

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Germany Takes Ostrich Approach to Israel’s Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Gaza War

Published 7 April 2024 Author: Stefan Talmon

On 7 October 2023, a Jewish Sabbath day, Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups indiscriminately fired between 3,000–5,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel while, at the same time, more than 1,000 Hamas militants breached Israel’s heavily fortified security fence surrounding the territory to launch unprecedented attacks in multiple locations in Israel. Hamas fighters indiscriminately killed and injured Israeli security forces and civilians, including some 260 people attending a music festival in southern Israel. Some 1,200 Israelis, including many women and children, were killed and more than 3,300 injured – the largest number of Jewish victims in a single day since the holocaust. In addition, Hamas abducted some 230 Israelis to the Gaza Strip where they were kept as hostages. These despicable actions of Hamas constituted egregious violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. (more…)

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Violent Attack on Turkish Consulate-General in Hannover

Published: 2 April 2024  Author: Stefan Talmon

On the evening of 26 March 2024, Türkiye’s consulate-general in the city of Hannover was attacked by some twenty persons throwing stones at the building and hitting the windows with iron bars. The attack only lasted for about half a minute. Upon arrival of police the persons fled the scene on foot. No one was injured in the attack, but the building’s windows and main entrance door were damaged. Police arrested two suspects in the vicinity of the consulate- general, who were later released. The state security department of the police investigated the incident. Türkiye blamed sympathisers of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), which had been outlawed in Germany as a terrorist organisation since 1993, for the attack. The Turkish Consul General requested increased security measures from police authorities for both the consulate- general and the offices of Turkish civil society groups. The incident was also raised with the German ambassador to Ankara. (more…)

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Israel Facilitates the Evacuation of Sixty-Eight Palestinian Orphans From the Gaza Strip to the West Bank at Germany’s Request

Published: 21 March 2024 Author: Stefan Talmon

In response to the barbaric terrorist attack on Israel by Hamas on 7 October 2023, Israel, in exercise of the right to self-defence, embarked on an extensive aerial bombardment of Hamas’ positions in the Gaza Strip followed by a large-scale ground invasion of the territory which led to high numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties. Approximately 70 per cent of those killed were said to be women and children. The military operations of the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in the northern Gaza Strip also led to a large-scale internal displacement of the Palestinian population with many seeking refuge in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip close to the border with Egypt. (more…)

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Germany Opposes Request for ICJ Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Policies and Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory But Also Rejects Israel’s Reaction

Published 26 February 2024  Author: Stefan Talmon

On 27 May 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) convened a special session on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. At the special session, the HRC decided by a recorded vote of twenty-four to nine (including Germany), with fourteen abstentions, to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international Commission of Inquiry ‘to investigate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law’. (more…)

Germany Opposes Request for ICJ Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Policies and Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory But Also Rejects Israel’s Reaction Read More

Germany Supports Expansive Interpretation of the Right to Self-Defence Against Attacks by the Houthis on Commercial Shipping in the Red Sea

Published: 23 January 2024  Author: Stefan Talmon

On 19 November 2023, the Iranian-Backed Houthi movement, which controlled large parts of Yemen, began attacking commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea in order to show their support for the terrorist organisation Hamas in its fight against Israel. The Houthis declared they were targeting ships which were Israeli-owned, flagged or operated, or which were heading to Israeli ports. However, the attacks had a broader impact on international commercial shipping. Nearly 15 percent of global seaborne trade passes through the Red Sea, including 8 percent of global grain trade, 12 percent of seaborne-traded oil and 8 percent of the world’s liquefied natural gas trade. As a result of the attacks, international shipping companies decided to reroute their vessels around the Cape of Good Hope rather than sail them through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. This led to major disruptions of international shipping and, consequently, international supply lines. (more…)

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Germany Rushes to Declare Intention to Intervene in the Genocide Case brought by South Africa Against Israel Before the International Court of Justice

Published: 15 January 2024  Author: Stefan Talmon

On 7 October 2023, Hamas and other terrorist groups launched an attack against Israel, during which 695 Israeli civilians, including thirty-six children, as well as 373 security forces and seventy-one foreigners were killed, some 3,300 wounded, and more than 240 abducted to the Gaza Strip. In response, the Israel Defence Force (IDF) conducted a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip in order to eliminate Hamas, return the hostages and ensure that Gaza will never again constitute a threat to Israel. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza as of 28 December 2023 at least 21,320 Palestinians had been killed in Gaza. Approximately 70 per cent of those killed were said to be women and children. In addition, 55,603 Palestinians had been injured and many more were missing. Of the 2.2 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, 1.9 million, or nearly 85 per cent of the population, were estimated to be internally displaced. According to the World Health Organization, out of Gaza’s thirty-six hospitals only thirteen were partially functional. There was an electricity blackout and warnings of famine. The UN Secretary-General reported to the UN Security Council that the ‘people of Gaza are in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe before the eyes of the world.’ While acknowledging Israel’s right to self-defence, even close allies like Germany spoke of ‘unspeakable conditions’ in Gaza, called for humanitarian pauses in the fighting, and urged Israel to ‘resort to less intensive warfare’. (more…)

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Of Humanitarian Windows, Pause(s), Truces and Ceasefires, and Israel’s Right of Self-Defence Against the Hamas Terrorist Attack

Published: 30 October 2023  Author: Stefan Talmon

In response to Hamas’ barbaric terrorist attack against Israel on 7 October 2023, in which more than 1,400 Israelis, mainly civilians, were brutally killed, more than 5,300 wounded, and some 230 abducted to the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defence Force (IDF) bombed Hamas targets in Gaza and, on 9 October 2023, declared a total siege of the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant announced that ‘[t]here will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything is closed.’ Hamas, nevertheless, continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel. By 13 October 2023, Israeli airstrikes had killed some 1,800 Palestinians, including some 580 children, and injured about 7,300. In addition, some 423,000 civilians were displaced within the Gaza Strip due to the military strikes. Against the background of an impending humanitarian catastrophe, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called for ‘pauses in the fighting’ to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. On 13 October 2023, the Russian Federation put forward a draft resolution for consideration by the Security Council, which called for ‘an immediate, durable and fully respected humanitarian ceasefire’. On 18 October 2023, UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined the call for an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire to provide sufficient time and space … to ease the epic human suffering we are witnessing.’ (more…)

Of Humanitarian Windows, Pause(s), Truces and Ceasefires, and Israel’s Right of Self-Defence Against the Hamas Terrorist Attack Read More

Germany’s Unquestioning Solidarity With Israel in the Face of the Hamas Terror Attack Undermines Its Credibility With Regard to International Law

Published: 23 October 2023  Author: Stefan Talmon

On 7 October 2023, a Jewish Sabbath day, Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups indiscriminately fired between 3,000–5,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel while, at the same time, more than 1,000 Hamas militants breached Israel’s heavily fortified security fence surrounding the territory to launch unprecedented attacks in multiple locations in Israel. Hamas fighters indiscriminately killed and injured Israeli security forces and civilians, including some 260 people attending a music festival in southern Israel. Some 1,300 Israelis, including many women and children, were killed and more than 3,000 injured – the largest number of Jewish victims in a single day since the holocaust. In addition, Hamas abducted some 200 Israelis to the Gaza Strip where they were kept as hostages. These despicable actions of Hamas constituted egregious violations of international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. (more…)

Germany’s Unquestioning Solidarity With Israel in the Face of the Hamas Terror Attack Undermines Its Credibility With Regard to International Law Read More