May 18, 2024

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Türkiye cuts trade with Israel, citing conditions in Gaza: Live updates

Türkiye cuts trade with Israel, citing conditions in Gaza: Live updates
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently met with Hamas officials in Istanbul.credit…Adam Altan/AFP – Getty Images

Turkey said late Thursday that it had halted all trade with Israel until “sufficient and uninterrupted humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza,” signaling a further deterioration in relations between the two countries.

The Turkish Ministry of Trade said in a permit Exports and imports of “all products” will be temporarily halted. Trade Minister Omer Polat said on Friday that the suspension would remain in place until the Israeli bombing of Gaza stopped.

“Until a permanent ceasefire is reached and uninterrupted humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza, the suspension of trade with Israel for all imports and exports will be implemented,” Polat said at a press conference to announce the monthly trade figures.

This step was at the beginning Reported by BloombergThis prompted Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz to attack Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“This is how the dictator behaves, ignoring the interests of the Turkish people and Turkish businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz said. Posted on social media. Mr. Katz added that he had instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find alternatives to trade with Turkey, focusing on domestic production and imports from other countries.

Turkey announced exports worth $5.4 billion to Israel in 2023 and imports worth $1.64 billion, according to UN figures.

Mr. Erdogan has not commented publicly on any changes in trade relations between Türkiye and Israel. But the Turkish president strongly criticized the Israeli bombing of Gaza, which began after Hamas led an October 7 attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people and led to the kidnapping of about 240 others. More than 34,000 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli bombing of the Strip, according to health officials in the Strip.

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The Turkish leader has also strongly defended Hamas, recently meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s political leader, and other Hamas officials in Istanbul on April 20. “Israel will certainly pay the price for the atrocities it committed,” Erdogan told reporters at the time. “He will catch up with the Palestinians one day.”

Turkey’s decision to halt trade came after the Turkish Ministry of Trade imposed export restrictions on Israel on April 9 on 54 product groups, including cement and aviation fuel, and said that these restrictions would remain in effect until “Israel announces an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.” “

The Ministry of Commerce described Thursday’s suspension as “the second step in intergovernmental measures” and noted the “worsening humanitarian tragedy in Palestine.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also announced on Wednesday that Turkey would join the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice. In a preliminary decision issued in January, the court ordered Israel to ensure that its forces do not commit genocide in Gaza.