Middle East conflict

Spain requests to intervene in South Africa’s Gaza genocide case against Israel at ICJ

Spain requests to intervene in South Africa’s Gaza genocide case against Israel at ICJ
Spain's Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Manuel Albares holds a press conference in Madrid, central Spain, 06 June 2024. Jose Manuel Albares announced on 06 June that Spain is going to intervene in the procedure of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), initiated by South Africa, regarding the situation in Gaza. The decision comes in the context of the continued military operation in Gaza and the 'enormous concern' caused by the regional extension of the conflict. EPA-EFE/SERGIO PEREZ

MADRID, June 6 (Reuters) - Spain has requested to intervene in South Africa's genocide case against Israel's actions in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Thursday.

Spain joins a small number of other countries that have said they wish to intervene including Ireland, which along with Spain and Norway officially recognised a Palestinian state last week.

Albares said Madrid wanted to support the ICJ in its implementation of measures including an order to Israel to cease its military operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, but gave few details of what its requested intervention would entail.

“We are doing it (requesting to intervene) because of our commitment to international law, in our desire to support the court in its work and strengthen the United Nations, supporting the role of the court as the maximum legal entity in the system,” he told a press conference in Madrid.

“We want to support the court in the implementation of the precautionary measures, in particular the cessation of military operations in Rafah in order to restore peace, the cessation of obstacles to the entry of humanitarian aid and the cessation of the destruction of civilian infrastructure.”

The ICJ is the highest United Nations legal body, established in 1945 to deal with disputes between states.

The ICJ judges’ order to Israel last month to immediately halt its military assault on Rafah was a landmark emergency ruling following South Africa’s decision to bring a case against Israel accusing it of genocide.

Israel has repeatedly dismissed the case’s accusations of genocide as baseless, arguing in court that its operations in Gaza are self-defence and targeted at Hamas militants who attacked Israel on Oct. 7. It says it is trying to root out Hamas fighters in Rafah.

(Reporting by Aislinn Laing, writing by Charlie Devereux, editing by Inti Landauro and Timothy Heritage)


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