Spain to ICJ: We Want in on Genocide Case Against Israel

South Africa case before UN court accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 6, 2024 5:58 AM CDT
Spain to ICJ: We Want in on Genocide Case Against Israel
Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Bueno is seen at a press conference in Brussels on May 27.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)

Spain will ask a United Nations court for permission to join South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, its foreign minister announced Thursday. Spain is the first European country to take the step after South Africa filed its case with the International Court of Justice late last year, per the AP. It alleged that Israel was breaching the genocide convention in its military assault that has laid waste to large swaths of Gaza. Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya, and the Palestinians have already requested to join the case being heard at the court in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The court has ordered Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire for the enclave. Israel hasn't complied.

"We take the decision because of the ongoing military operation in Gaza," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Bueno said. "We want peace to return to Gaza and the Middle East, and for that to happen we must all support the court." Once admitted to the case, Spain would be able to make written submissions and speak at public hearings. Spain's request to join the case is the latest move by the government of Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to support peacemaking efforts in Gaza.

Spain, Ireland, and Norway formally recognized a Palestinian state on May 28 in a coordinated effort by the three Western European nations to add international pressure on Israel. Slovenia, an EU member along with Spain and Ireland, followed suit and recognized the Palestinian state this week. More than 140 countries have recognized a Palestinian state—more than two-thirds of the UN—but none of the major Western powers, including the US, have done so. Meanwhile, the Israeli judge who was representing Israel at the ICJ has stepped down, per the Times of Israel. In his resignation letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Aharon Barak, who used to serve as president of Israel's Supreme Court, cited "personal family reasons" for his departure and thanked Bibi for "the trust you placed in me."

(More Spain stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.