Israel in court in The Hague: “South Africa has close ties with Hamas”
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Malcolm Shaw

Professor Shaw is a brilliant British jurist and lawyer, considered one of the world’s leading experts in the field of human rights and international law, and his specialty is issues related to genocide. In Israel, they understand that today is a very important day, so the Israeli team has been carefully selected – it includes leading lawyers.

The day before, on January 11, the South African legal team presented its position in detail, basing its accusations, among other things, on the conclusions of international organizations (mostly anti-Israel) and the scandalous statements of some Israeli politicians. South Africa is asking the Court to issue an interim order to Israel to immediately cease hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

Interestingly, South Africa is not asking the UN International Court of Justice to find Israel guilty of genocide. It is asking the court to take “interim measures” while the charges are pending – an immediate halt to the military operation in Gaza.

South African lawyer’s incredible speech accusing Israel of genocide at ICJ

Israel will address in detail all issues that South Africa has “overlooked” or downplayed, such as the Hamas massacre in Israel. Israel will present evidence of this massive bloody crime and say: “We did not want this war, we did not carry out a deliberate attack, and this is in response to the terrorist attacks of Hamas.”

Tal Becker
Israel in court in The Hague. Dr. Tal Becker

“Given the history of the Jewish people and its founding text, it is not surprising that Israel was one of the first countries to ratify the Genocide Convention without any reservations and to incorporate the articles of the Convention into the legislation of the State of Israel. For some, ‘never again’ is just a slogan; for Israel, it is a moral imperative,” said one of the Israeli representatives, Dr. Tal Becker, at the beginning of the meeting.

Dr. Tal Becker earned his doctorate from Columbia University and, among numerous scholarly awards, is the winner of the Rabin Peace Prize and the 2007 Guggenheim Prize for best international law book for his book Terrorism and the State.

Another thing that was not mentioned at all yesterday was Israel’s efforts to prevent harm to civilians in Gaza and Hamas’ efforts to use the population of Gaza as human shields. These are strong arguments from a legal point of view, because if South Africa attributes genocidal intent to Israel, Israel will argue the opposite: we are making efforts not to harm civilians.

“They are now trying to use the term ‘genocide’ in the context of the conduct of the State of Israel in a war that it did not start and did not seek,” Dr. Becker added. – A war in which Israel is defending itself against Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations whose cruelty knows no bounds. As in any war, the suffering of the Palestinians in this war is extremely difficult, it is heartbreaking (…) But the plaintiffs, unfortunately, have presented an extremely distorted legal picture. Their whole case is based on a kind of manipulative collection of descriptions of current events.

Israel in court in The Hague: “South Africa has close ties with Hamas”
Israel in court in The Hague. Video – Blame the Victim

Dr. Becker noted that in the courtroom are representatives of families whose loved ones were kidnapped by militants and are still being held in Gaza. In the courtroom are Ayala Yahalomi Luzon, sister of Ohad Yahalomi, who was kidnapped from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, and Dani Miron, father of Omri Miron, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

“About 240 people were kidnapped, including people with disabilities, Holocaust survivors, families, women and children. Some were executed, many were tortured, sexually assaulted and starved to death in captivity. Representatives of the families of those who were abducted are here with us in the courtroom today, and we acknowledge their presence and the great suffering they are enduring.

Israeli legal counselor Tal Becker is pictured during the International Court of Justice hearing on January 11, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images)
Israeli legal counselor Tal Becker is pictured during the International Court of Justice hearing on January 11, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo: Michel Porro/Getty Images)

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