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Spain asks to join South Africa’s ‘genocide’ case against Israel after recognizing Palestinian state

Meanwhile, Spanish diplomats refuse to relocate to Ramallah from Israeli cities due to ‘standard of living and security’ concerns

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares makes a statement during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 10, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal/File Photo)

One week after formally recognizing a Palestine state, Spain has requested to join South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza.

“We take the decision because of the ongoing military operation in Gaza,” Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares announced at a press conference on Thursday in Madrid. “We want peace to return to Gaza and the Middle East, and for that to happen we must all support the court.”

Furthermore, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz recently stated during a speech, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.”

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to Spain's decision by announcing on 𝕏: “I have decided to sever the connection between Spain's representation in Israel and the Palestinians, and to prohibit the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem from providing services to Palestinians from the West Bank.”

That move prompted the Spanish government to plan the opening of an embassy to the Palestinians in Ramallah, but the plan encountered a debacle. Spanish media reported that diplomats in Spain have refused to relocate from major Israeli cities to Palestinian Authority-controlled territory, citing safety concerns.

A report published by OK Diario stated the diplomats did not want to leave Israel due to “standard of living and security” reasons.

That was not the only demonstration of hypocrisy on behalf of Spain’s foreign ministry, according to the website. Last week, the foreign ministry had apparently warned Spanish officials to stop publicly suggesting that Israel is committing “genocide” in Gaza, because doing so may compel the country to take in Palestinian asylum seekers.

“Up to 2 million Palestinians will be able to request asylum in Spain as the Government accuses Israel of ‘genocide’,” read the headline.

On Thursday, Spain became the second European nation after Ireland to apply to join South Africa’s “genocide” case. Other countries waiting for the UN’s top court in The Hague to approve their intervention request are Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Libya and the Palestinians.

Last month, the court ordered Israel to halt any action in Rafah “which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” It stopped short of ordering a permanent ceasefire, as requested by South Africa.  

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to South Africa as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organization, labeling the charges presented as “false, outrageous and morally repugnant.”

Gilad Noam, Israel’s deputy attorney general for international law, argued before the court: “South Africa purports to come before you, yet again, as a guardian of humanity. In fact, it has a clear ulterior motive when it asks you to order Israel to stay away from Rafah and to withdraw all its troops from Gaza. It does so in order to obtain military advantage for its ally, Hamas, which it does not wish to see defeated.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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