Ireland to intervene in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the ICJ

Ireland plans to submit an argument in South Africa's genocide case against Israel to the International Court of Justice, according to the Irish government, a move that comes as the country has strongly condemned Israel's actions against civilians in Gaza.

South Africa has filed a lawsuit against Israel in the United Nations court, alleging that Israel is committing genocide, a charge Israel has denied. Ireland did not outline the argument it intended to make, but the country's lawmakers have made repeated calls to prioritize the protection of civilians in Gaza.

The United Nations allows countries to “intervene” in proceedings if they are parties to the United Nations' 1948 Genocide Convention. Micheál Martin, the Republic of Ireland's foreign minister and vice-president, said officials were working on a so-called “intervention statement” in the case which, if approved by the Irish government, would be lodged at the tribunal in The Hague.

“It is up to the Court to determine whether genocide is being committed,” Martin said Wednesday. “But I want to be clear in reiterating what I have said many times in recent months: what we saw on October 7 in Israel, and what we are seeing now in Gaza, represents blatant violations of international humanitarian law on a massive scale. stairs.”

He urged Israel to proclaim a ceasefire, and then listed a series of urgent issues, including “the intentional withholding of humanitarian assistance to civilians,” “the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure” and “punishment collective of an entire population”. .”

“The list goes on,” he said. “It has to stop. The international community's point of view is clear. Enough is enough.”

Irish lawmakers were among the first in Europe to call for the protection of people in Gaza last year, a reflection of Ireland's long-standing support for Palestinian civilians, rooted partly in a shared history of British colonialism. Ireland's experience with a seemingly intractable and traumatic sectarian conflict – The Troubles, which ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement – ​​also fueled this affinity.

The decision to submit a declaration of intervention was made in consultation with several partners, including South Africa, Martin said. The Irish government has no intention of taking sides in the dispute, the government has told numerous Irish media outlets.

In January Germany became the first country to announce it would intervene in the case, saying there was “no basis” to South Africa's claim that Israel was committing genocide during the war. The United States has called the case unfounded, and several European countries have also rejected it.

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