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Slovenia Is First European Country To File an Advisory Opinion with ICJ on Israel’s Control over Palestinian Lands

Slovenia’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon announced Jan. 11 that the government has decided to formally join proceedings in the International Court of Justice, seeking an advisory opinion on Israeli control of and policies in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, a motion that precedes South Africa’s genocide allegations heard in the court last week. The Slovenian action is in accordance with a December 2022 UN General Assembly vote to request that the ICJ (also known as the UN World Court) give an opinion on whether Israel is violating international law in its conduct in Palestinian territories.

Several other countries have already submitted written comments on the UNGA request, including Jordan, Qatar, Belize, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt. However Slovenia is the first European nation to do so.

The World Court, per the UNGA’s 2022 directive, is examining “the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967,” as well as policies in East Jerusalem, and allegedly “discriminatory legislation.” The first hearing in these proceedings is scheduled for Feb. 19.

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