International Court of Justice
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Ireland said on Wednesday it would intervene in South Africa's genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel, Reuters reported.

Announcing the move, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said that while it was for the World Court to decide whether genocide is being committed, he wanted to be clear that Hamas' October 7 attack and what is happening in Gaza now "represents the blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale."

"The taking of hostages. The purposeful withholding of humanitarian assistance to civilians. The targeting of civilians and of civilian infrastructure. The indiscriminate use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The use of civilian objects for military purposes. The collective punishment of an entire population," Martin said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

"The list goes on. It has to stop. The view of the international community is clear. Enough is enough," he added.

In December, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel at the ICJ in which it accused the Jewish state of carrying out genocide 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.

Martin did not say on Wednesday what form the intervention would take or outline any argument Ireland plans to advance, but added that the step was decided following legal and policy analysis and consultation with several partners including South Africa.

With the move, Ireland became the second country to intervene against Israel in the case. Nicaragua had previously filed an application with the ICJ to join South Africa in its case against Israel, saying it considers that the conduct of Israel is in "violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention".

Germany, meanwhile, announced that it would intervene on Israel’s behalf and present its own case to the court that Israel has not committed genocide.

Relations between Israel and Ireland have been tense in recent years. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who announced this week he would be stepping down, last month launched a tirade against Israel, accusing the country of becoming "blinded by rage" as it doubles down on plans to launch a ground offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

In May of 2021, then-Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney decried Israel’s counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip as “brutal”, and said Israel “should be condemned”.

The Israeli government subsequently summoned the Irish ambassador for clarifications following Coveney’s comments.

That same month, Ireland’s government supported a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation of Palestinian land by Israel”.

In 2019, the Irish parliament approved a law promoting a boycott of Judea and Samaria products.