Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasBrendan McDermid/Reuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to join South Africa as a party in its Gaza genocide case against Israel, the court said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The ICJ said in a statement that the PA "filed ... an application for permission to intervene and a declaration of intervention in the (South Africa v. Israel) case."

On May 31, the PA officially recognized the authority of the ICJ to resolve all disputes that may arise or have already arisen under Article IX, which paved the way for them to request to join South Africa's case against Israel as a party.

If granted by the court, the request could allow the PA to also add an ad hoc judge of their choosing to the ICJ panel which currently has 16 judges, 15 of the court's regular judges and one Israeli ad hoc judge.

South Africa and Israel have been invited to furnish written observations on the PA application for permission to intervene as a party.

South Africa filed the case against Israel at the ICJ in December of last year, accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention during its attacks in Gaza.

On January 26, the ICJ handed down a ruling in South Africa’s case, saying that Israel must do everything to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and take "immediate" measures for aid provisions. It did not, however, order Israel to stop the war in Gaza.

Later, South Africa submitted an urgent request to the ICJ, asking it to impose additional provisional measures against Israel over its operation in the Gazan city of Rafah, claiming that the provisional measures previously indicated by the Court “are not capable of ‘fully address[ing]’ the changed circumstances and new facts on which [its] request is founded.”

Last week, the ICJ ruled on the South African request and ordered Israel to halt its operation in Rafah.

The PA’s request to intervene in the lawsuit came two days after Chile announced it has joined a group of nations supporting South Africa’s case against Israel.

Chile joins a group of several countries, including Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia, that has rallied behind South Africa’s petition.