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‘We Must Take Action’ – Will European countries join SA’s case against Israel?

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Image: Palestine Chronicle / January 10, 2024 – Politicians in Spain and Belgium called on their countries to join South Africa’s case at ICJ. As the first hearing is set to take place in The Hague on Thursday, January 11, 2024, some European politicians are urging their governments to take action and join South Africa’s case against Israel.

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

So far, South Africa’s case has been officially backed by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), Malaysia, Turkiye, Jordan, Bolivia, The Maldives, Namibia and Pakistan.

South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 29, accusing Israel of genocide in its war on Gaza and seeking a halt to the brutal military assault that has killed over 23,000 Palestinians since October 7.

As the first hearing is set to take place in The Hague on Thursday, some European politicians are urging their governments to take action and join South Africa’s case against Israel.

Belgium

Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter expressed support for South Africa’s case against Israel on Tuesday, saying that “Belgium cannot remain silent in the face of the genocide threat in Gaza”.

“We must take action against the threat of genocide,” she wrote on X.

“I want Belgium to take action at the International Court of Justice, following the lead of South Africa. I will propose this within the Belgian government,” De Sutter added.

Israel Summons Ambassadors of Belgium, Spain after Rafah Border Comments

The Belgian politician had previously asserted that “it is time to boycott Israel. Bombing like rain is inhumane. It is clear that Israel ignores international calls for a ceasefire.”

Expressing concern about the deaths of children in Gaza every day, she urged the Belgian government to implement trade sanctions against Israel.

Spain

The leader of Spain’s Podemos announced, on Tuesday, that her party has formally urged the Spanish government to back South Africa’s case at the ICJ, Anadolu news agency reported.

Ione Belarra, the secretary-general of the left-wing Podemos, has praised South Africa’s “bravery” during a press conference, arguing that more nations, including Spain, need to support the case.

Belarra added that Podemos has sent official letters to Spain’s Foreign Ministry and the central government, urging leaders to back the case publicly and that the party will also raise the issue in parliament for debate.

Spain must support South Africa’s proposal to bring Israel before the International Court of Justice. We must all come together to stop the genocide of the Palestinian people.

Outspoken Criticism

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, accusing Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of not respecting international law.

Last November, Sanchez and his Belgian counterpart, Alexander De Croo held a press conference at the Rafah crossing, separating besieged Gaza from Egypt, where they called for a permanent ceasefire.

During the press conference, Sánchez described the situation in Gaza as “the worst humanitarian disaster in modern times”.

“What is happening is a disaster, and we have dealt with it effectively, managing to stop the firing, leading to the arrival of aid,” Sánchez reportedly stated.

The Spanish PM also urged the international community to officially recognise the state of Palestine, stating that: “We may decide to recognise the state of Palestine if the European Union does not.”

For his part, Belgium’s PM De Croo called on Israel to stop the killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip, emphasising that a four-day ceasefire is not sufficient and calling for a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

Following the press conference, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen summoned Belgium and Spain’s ambassadors.

So far, South Africa’s case has been officially backed by the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), Malaysia, Turkiye, Jordan, Bolivia, The Maldives, Namibia and Pakistan.

Besides countries, several advocacy groups and civil society organisations worldwide have also joined South Africa’s call. – Palestinian Chronicle, Anadolu

This article was published on The Palestine Chronicle