Spain applies to join South African case to UN highest court accusing Israel of genocide

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MADRID (AP) — Spain will ask a United Nations court for permission to join The case of South Africa Israel accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza, the Foreign Minister announced on 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. It claimed that Israel is violating the genocide convention with its military attack that has destroyed large parts of Gaza.

Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians have already applied to join the cause.

The court ordered Israel to take immediate action halt its military offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, but stopped short of declaring a ceasefire for the enclave. Israel has not complied.

“We are taking this decision because of the ongoing military operation in Gaza,” Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said. “We want peace to return to Gaza and the Middle East, and for that to happen we must all support the court.”

Israel denies committing genocide during its military operation to crush Hamas, sparked by the deadly October 7 attacks in southern Israel.

Hamas killed 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage in the surprise attacks. Israeli air and land strikes have claimed lives According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, that number is 36,000 Palestiniansin which no distinction is made between combatants and civilians.

Spain, Norway and Ireland formally recognized a Palestinian state on May 28 in a coordinated effort by the three Western European countries to increase international pressure on Israel.


Follow AP’s coverage of Israel and Hamas

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