‘Let Peace Return’ – Spain to Join Genocide Case at ICJ against Israel

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares. (Photo: Sicherheitskonferenz, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Spain will join South Africa’s case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of genocide in its war on Gaza, the country’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares announced on Thursday. 

Spain is the second European nation after Ireland to join the case, which has also been joined by other countries, including Chile and Mexico.

“We made this decision in light of the continuation of the military operation in Gaza,” Albares said during a press conference.

“We also observe with enormous concern the regional extension of the conflict,” he added.

Albares said that Spain took this decision to not only “let peace return to Gaza and the Middle East,” but also due to its commitment to international law.

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Plausible Risk of Genocide

On December 29, the South African government brought the case against Israel before the ICJ, accusing it of “genocidal acts” in its military campaign in Gaza.

Public hearings on South Africa’s request were held on January 11 and 12.

In January, the ICJ called on Israel to avoid actions that could lead to genocide and to facilitate humanitarian access to Gaza. 

A few weeks later, South Africa requested additional measures in response to Israel’s announced intention to attack Rafah, but the court rejected this request.

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At the beginning of March, South Africa renewed its request for emergency measures against Israel. 

Later that month, the court ordered Israel to ensure the delivery of “urgent humanitarian aid” to Gaza, in light of “a famine that has begun to spread” in the war-torn Strip.

Genocide Case

Recently, countries including Libya, Egypt, and Turkiye announced their intention to support South Africa’s lawsuit in the genocide case against Israel in the ICJ.

These hearings are part of an ongoing case in which Israel is accused of genocide. 

It is important to note that the rulings and orders of the ICJ are binding and cannot be appealed, although the court has no enforcement mechanism. 

However, an order against a country can damage its international reputation and set a legal precedent.

Recognition of Palestine

On May 28, Norway, Ireland and Spain officially recognized the State of Palestine and established full diplomatic relations with it.

They were followed by Slovenia, which officially recognized the state of Palestine on Tuesday. 

Palestine has already been recognized by 144 countries worldwide.

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Within the European Union, eight member states—Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria—have already recognized the State of Palestine.

Britain and Australia have indicated that they are considering recognition. However, France has stated that now is not the appropriate time for such a move. Meanwhile, Germany, aligning with Israel’s closest ally, the United States, opposes a unilateral approach, insisting that a two-state solution can only be achieved through dialogue.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 36,586 Palestinians have been killed, and 83,074 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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