The UN’s top court threw out Nicaragua’s request on Tuesday for emergency measures to stop Germany sending military supplies to Israel because of its action in the Gaza war.

International Court of Justice presiding judge Nawaf Salam said that the circumstances presented to the court did not warrant “provisional measures.”

Nicaragua hauled Germany before the ICJ to demand emergency measures to stop it from sending weapons to Israel and other assistance that could be used in the devastating Gaza war. Nicaragua accused Germany of violating the 1948 international genocide convention.

Nicaragua targeted Germany rather than Israel’s main ally, the United States, because Washington did not recognize ICJ jurisdiction in the case, Managua’s lawyers said.

Arms to Israel

Lawyers from the two countries clashed at the court this month, with Nicaragua saying Germany was “pathetic” for providing weapons to Israel while sending aid to Gazans.

Berlin responded that Israel’s security was at the “core” of its foreign policy and that Nicaragua had “grossly distorted” Germany’s supply of military aid to Israel.

“Germany only supplies arms based on a meticulous scrutiny that far exceeds the demands of international law,” said Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, a German representative to the ICJ.

Those supplies are “subject to a continuous evaluation of the situation on the ground,” she added.

Nicaragua requested five emergency measures, including that Germany “immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment.”

The judges agreed with Berlin, saying that “the court notes that Germany has fulfilled the obligation incumbent on states parties to the Genocide Convention to prevent the occurrence of genocide.”

In fact, it noted that “as stated by Germany,” there had been a significant decrease in its supply of military material since November 2023.

Gaza Genocide Claims

Cases relating to the Gaza war brought before the ICJ are closely followed.

In another procedure, South Africa accused Israel – which like the United States is not a member of the court – of perpetuating genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Israel “categorically” denies the South African accusations, which include responsibility for starvation.

In that case, the court called on Israel to do everything in its power to prevent genocide and recently ordered the country to “ensure urgent humanitarian assistance” in Gaza without delay.

Though ICJ decisions are binding, the court has no mechanism to enforce them. For example, it ordered Russia to cease its invasion of Ukraine, in vain.