Spanish government welcomes UN court Gaza ruling

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

Spain, one of the most critical voices in Europe of Israel’s offensive against Hamas, welcomed a ruling by the United Nations’ top court on Friday that Israel should act to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

“We welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice and ask the parties to apply the provisional measures it has decreed,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on social network X, the former Twitter.

“We will continue to advocate for peace and an end to war, the release of hostages, access to humanitarian aid and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, so that both nations coexist in peace and security,” he added.

Diplomatic tensions between Israel and Spain have soared following repeated remarks by Sanchez and other top members of his government criticising Israel’s military campaign in Gaza that came in response to Hamas’s October 7 attack.

Israel in November recalled its envoy to Madrid after Sanchez said that he had “serious doubts” over the legality of Israel’s actions in the war-torn Gaza Strip but she returned to Spain earlier this month.

The UN court said Israel must take “immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians,” but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.

At this stage, the ICJ was not considering whether Israel is actually committing genocide in Gaza — that process will take several years.