Mexico Requests to Join South Africa’s Genocide Case Against Israel

Mexico's president has requested to join the ongoing

Mexico with Palestine

A woman holds a banner reading "Mexico with Palestine" as a handful of protestors demonstrate against Israel during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Mexico City, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Netanyahu, who also visited Argentina and Colombia, will hold a joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto Thursday afternoon.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

It has been more than seven months since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) invaded Palestine in response to the October 7 attack by the militant group Hamas, which left 1,400 people dead in Southern Israel. Since then, the Israeli military has killed over 34,000 Palestinians and injured at least 78,000 as a result of airstrikes, bombs, blockades of aid, and sniper attacks, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza. In response, the South African government filed a historic case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 29, accusing the IDF of the intent to commit genocide in Palestine through their military actions. In January, Bolivia was the first Latin American country to endorse the case as a signatory. This month, Mexico has taken historic steps after decades of claiming neutrality in international conflicts, requesting to join the case by filing a declaration of intervention with the ICJ.

“Mexico seeks to intervene, in order to provide its view on the potential construction of the content of the provisions of the Convention relevant to this case, through the interpretation to be conducted by the Court, taking into consideration that the construction given by the judgment will be equally binding upon it,” Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, legal adviser to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in the document.

Mexico’s government cited “the destruction of Cultural Heritage,” “the deliberate obstruction of access to humanitarian assistance,” and “International responsibility of a State for failing to prevent and punish the commission of genocide” as reasons for supporting South Africa and Palestine as a whole, according to a press release from the ICJ. With this filing, Mexico has become the 31st country in the world to join in support of the case, alongside other LATAM countries including Colombia, Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

The Mexican government has historically taken a neutral stance when it comes to foreign affairs. In 1947, Mexico was one of the few countries to abstain from voting on the Partition of Palestine, which was a pro-Zionist proposal to allocate over 50 percent of Palestine to Israel. Since then, leaders from Israel and Mexico have made state visits and opened embassies in each other’s countries. In addition to recognizing the state of Palestine, Mexico maintains a similar relationship with the state through exports, diplomatic visits, and commemorative buildings. However, Mexico has also formed military contracts with Israel and has been a significant user of their Pegasus Spyware system, which is designed to combat terrorism by being covertly downloaded onto cell phones. For decades now, they have advocated for peace through a two-state solution, so this is the first step they’ve made toward actually taking a non-neutral political stance, especially with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

At the same time, pro-Palestine protests have erupted in Mexico City this week, with locals rallying outside the Israeli embassy to protest Israel’s ongoing missile attacks on Rafah, which was a designated “safe zone.” So far, 45 Palestinians have been killed, including children. The protests escalated after the police intervened, who deployed tear gas and threw stones at the crowd. A Molotov cocktail was thrown by protestors, which started a fire outside the embassy.

Following Mexico’s declaration, both South Africa and Israel have been invited to respond to Mexico’s claims, according to the ICJ, but so far neither country has released a statement.

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