Geneva - Spain’s decision to join the genocide lawsuit filed by South Africa before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel over its ongoing military attack in the Gaza Strip, ongoing since 7 October 2023, is welcomed by Euro-Med Monitor.

According to Article 63 of the Statute of the Court of Justice, which permits any State Party to a treaty whose interpretation is disputed to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit, Spain’s action will add new evidence to support South Africa’s case and legal position. To elevate the case against Israel to a major international issue, similar actions are required from every nation.

In accordance with its obligations under the terms of this agreement and the rules of international law, not particularly international humanitarian law, which calls for pressuring Israel to stop committing its genocide and all other crimes and grave violations in the Gaza Strip and to hold it accountable for all its crimes, the international community bears the responsibility of forcing Israel to submit to the provisions of international law and the ICJ rulings. The States Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide must also join South Africa’s lawsuit and provide all necessary support.

Spain, following Ireland and Belgium, announced its intent to join the lawsuit in response to the Danish Parliament’s resounding vote to reject the possibility of Israel committing genocide in the Gaza Strip and the Danish government’s denial of a popular petition requesting that it take a stance on the possibility of Israel committing genocide against Palestinian civilians.

In compliance with their duties under the Genocide Convention and international law, all relevant nations and international organisations have an obligation to act swiftly and decisively to put an end to the ongoing crime of genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Last December, South Africa filed a lawsuit before the ICJ against Israel, accusing it of committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention. Based on the 1948 Genocide Convention, which grants the UN Court the authority to resolve disputes between parties to the convention, South Africa is claiming that Israel is committing genocide in the Strip.

Independent international investigations into the violations that have been documented since the start of the Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip are crucial for safeguarding evidence, holding Israel accountable for its crimes, and holding all those who give and carry out orders accountable.

In order to prevent further crimes against the Palestinian people, it is also necessary to put an end to the impunity that Israel has long enjoyed by applying pressure and subjecting Israel to the same international legal system as other States Parties.