Turkey cuts off trade with Israel due to situation in Gaza Strip: Live updates
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently met with Hamas officials in Istanbul.credit…Adem Altan/Agence France Presse — Getty Images

Turkey announced late Thursday that it would suspend all trade with Israel until “uninterrupted and adequate humanitarian assistance to Gaza is permitted,” signaling a further deterioration in relations between the two countries.

The Turkish Ministry of Trade stated: statement Imports and exports will be temporarily suspended “for all products.” On Friday, Trade Minister Omer Borat said the suspension would continue until Israel’s bombing of Gaza stops.

“Trade with Israel will be suspended for all imports and exports unless a permanent ceasefire is established and humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip is suspended,” Borat said at a press conference announcing monthly trade statistics. said.

This move, which was originally planned, reported by bloombergIsraeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“This is the behavior of a dictator who ignores the interests of Turkish people and businessmen and ignores international trade agreements,” Katz said. Post to social media. Katz added that he had instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to create alternatives to trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries.

According to UN statistics, Turkey reported exports to Israel of $5.4 billion and imports of $1.64 billion in 2023.

Mr. Erdogan did not comment publicly on the changes in Turkish-Israel trade relations. However, the Turkish leader has strongly criticized Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza, which began after Hamas led an attack on Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people and abducting around 240. . More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli shelling of the region, according to health officials in the region.

The Turkish leader has also strongly defended Hamas, recently meeting with the organization’s political leader Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas officials in Istanbul on April 20. “Israel will definitely pay for its past atrocities,” Erdogan told reporters at the time. Someday it will have a negative impact on the Palestinians. ”

Turkey’s decision to suspend trade comes after the trade ministry imposed export restrictions on Israel on April 9 on 54 product groups, including cement and jet fuel, “until Israel declares an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.” This comes after it announced that the restrictions would remain in place. ”

The Trade Ministry defined Thursday’s suspension as a “second phase of intergovernmental action,” citing “the worsening humanitarian tragedy in Palestine.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan also announced Wednesday that Turkey will join South Africa’s genocide lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice. In a preliminary ruling in January, the court ordered Israel to ensure that its forces did not commit genocide in Gaza.

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