Follow IOL’s rolling coverage of Israel’s defence of the claims made by South Africa here.
In his oral observation, Shaw said Israel had a right to defend itself against the October 7 attack by Hamas. His sentiments echoed that Tal Becker who took to the stand before him.
"How could anyone possibly argue that Israel could not defend itself, faced with the 7 October atrocities and the incessant attacks against its civilians since? Indeed, a very wide range of states have acknowledged the right of self defence... Israel bears the responsibility to exercise its protection over its citizens, not only those constantly subjected to bombardment from Gaza but also, and critically, with regard to those captured and held hostage as a result of the 7 October outrage. These rights exist and cannot be disregarded," said Shaw.
Shaw said that not every conflict is genocidal and echoed the description of a genocide being “the crimes of crimes”, saying: “If such claims become common currency of conflict, its essence would be diluted and lost.”
According to Shaw, the October 7th attack by Hamas was the "real genocide", and later in his oral observation said "If there is any genocidal intent, it is the events of October 7.
Shaw’s arguments focused on proving there is no “dispute” between Israel and South Africa regarding the Genocide Convention, instead calling it a “unispute”.
The actions of a solider cannot reflect policy, says Shaw after South Africa argued that IDF soldiers are taking orders in terms of genocidal intent.
There were some light moments where Shaw also misplaced pages of his presentation, chuckling “I’ve lost my page”, and later claiming his presentation had been mistaken for a deck of cards by someone, joking his presentation had been shuffled.
Follow the day’s proceedings here.