Veronica Makhoali and Sifiso Zulu26 January 2024 | 6:07

US-SA relations won’t suffer from Israel genocide case, says Blinken

Though the United States previously called South Africa’s genocide case against Israel ‘meritless’, Blinken said the ‘vitally important’ relationship between the countries was much broader than a singular disagreement.

US-SA relations won’t suffer from Israel genocide case, says Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken addresses a press conference in Tel Aviv on 9 January 2024, during his week-long trip aimed at calming tensions across the Middle East. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken says relations with South Africa will not suffer over its genocide case brought against Israel.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will on Friday rule on whether there’s enough evidence that Israel broke the Genocide Convention.

ALSO READ: SA's diplomatic relations to be tested in ICJ ruling on genocide case against Israel

South Africa requested the United Nations’s (UN) top court to order an immediate stop to Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

More than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza by Israel’s bombardment since the war started more than three months ago.

About 1,140 people in Israel have died since Hamas’ attack on 7 October.

Blinken, who previously called the genocide case ‘meritless’, is on an African tour, which does not include a stop in South Africa. 

He made his recent remarks about the case at a press briefing in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday.

“Our relationship with South Africa is vitally important and it is a very broad and deep relationship covering many, many issues. 

“So, whether or not we have a disagreement on one particular matter doesn’t take away the important work we’re doing together in so many other areas, and that will continue.”

The ICJ sitting in The Hague heard arguments from both Israel and South Africa two weeks ago regarding the situation in the Palestinian territory.

South Africa has asked the ICJ to grant provisional measures that will preserve Palestinian lives and give them access to more humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, legal experts continue to examine the potential scenarios for the imminent decision at The Hague.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says countries aiding Israel’s defensive in Gaza may also have a case to answer to.