Sunday, May 26, 2024

Turkey halts all trade with Israel over ‘humanitarian tragedy’ in Gaza

Turkey suspended all trade with Israel effective immediately over the humanitarian crisis it has caused in Gaza, the Turkish trade ministry announced on Thursday. “Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products,” the ministry said.

Trade between the two countries was worth almost $7bn last year. The Turkish government has already imposed export restrictions to Israel on more than 50 products on 9 April.

Earlier this week, Turkey also announced that Ankara would join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli Government allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.” 

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz criticised the move on the social media platform X, saying that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was behaving like “a dictator”.

Katz accused Erdogan of breaking bilateral agreements between the two countries and said the country would work to create trade alternatives with other countries.

In 1949, Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognise Israel. Turkey and Israel have a free trade agreement that has been in effect since 1997.

In 2010, Turkey broke off diplomatic ties with Israel after 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed by Israel who boarded a Turkish-owned ship trying to break the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The genocidal war on Gaza has killed more than 34,500 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children. Over 10,000 Palestinians are missing or under the rubble of buildings, presumably dead.

Nearly all of the some 600,000 children now crammed into Rafah are either injured, sick, malnourished, traumatized, or living with disabilities, Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday.


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