Veronica Makhoali26 January 2024 | 7:19

Pandor, Blinken reaffirm need to protect Gaza civilian lives ahead of ICJ ruling

Speaking over a phone call on Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza, the two diplomats discussed the importance of preserving relations between the countries prior to Friday’s landmark ruling in the UN’s top court.

Pandor, Blinken reaffirm need to protect Gaza civilian lives ahead of ICJ ruling

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the press as he welcomes Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor in the Treaty Room of the US Department of State in Washington, DC, on 26 September 2023. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor and United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the need to protect civilian lives in Gaza ahead of a landmark ruling at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The two top diplomats spoke over a phone call on Israel's ongoing war in Gaza and efforts to ensure sustained humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians.

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Blinken and Pandor also discussed the importance of the US-South Africa partnership, as diplomatic relations are set to be tested amid an order set to be handed down on Friday afternoon in the ICJ. 

The top court will rule whether they will grant emergency measures against Israel following accusations by Pretoria that the Israeli military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide.

At a press briefing in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, Blinken stressed Washington’s relations with Pretoria would not suffer over the genocide case brought against Israel.

Meanwhile, as legal experts continued to examine the potential scenarios for the impending decision at The Hague, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said countries aiding Israel's defensive in Gaza might also have a case to answer to.