6 Jun, 2024 @ 10:49
1 min read

Spain announces it will form part of the genocide trial proceedings against Israel in the UN Court of Justice

Albares Minister Spain

SPAIN’S foreign minister, Jose Manuel Albares, announced on Thursday that his country will form part of the genocide trial proceedings that are underway against Israel in the United Nations’ Court of Justice. 

Albares said that the Spanish government’s decision had been ‘pondered for weeks’, and that the objective was to ‘bring an end to the war’ in Gaza. 

The minister also spoke about his country’s ‘commitment to international law’ in comments reported by Spanish media. 

 “Our commitment is twofold,” Albares told reporters. “For peace to return to the Middle East, and to that end it is urgent that we all support the Court. We do so also out of commitment to international law in our desire to support the Court in its work to strengthen the United Nations to support the Court’s role as the highest judicial body in the system.”

Read more: Israel threatens Spain with closure of its embassy in Jerusalem: Tel Aviv warns Madrid it must have zero contact with the Palestinian Authority

Denys Shmyhal Meet With Manuel Albarez Bueno
Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares in a file photo: (Credit Image: © Yuliia Ovsyannikova/Ukrinform via ZUMA Press Wire)

The genocide case has been brought against Israel in the UN’s main judicial organ by South Africa in response to its military offensive in Gaza after the atrocities committed during attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7 of last year. 

Albares also called for an end to Israel’s bombing campaign inside Gaza, a ceasefire between the two sides, for Hamas to release the remaining Israeli hostages it is holding, and for international aid to be allowed to enter the territory. 

Spain’s announcement came the day after Israel attacked a school for Palestinians in Gaza run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), on the basis it was targeting members of Hamas who were located there.

According to the communications director for UNRWA, Juliette Touma, at least 35 people were killed in the attack.

Spain has been one of the most outspoken critics of Israel’s tactics since it began its offensive in Gaza, something that has ratcheted up diplomatic tensions between the governments of Socialist Party leader and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and that of his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. 

At the end of May, Spain – along with Ireland and Norway – formally recognised a Palestinian state, saying they were doing so in a bid to ramp up efforts to find a political solution to the conflict in the Middle East. 

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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