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3 May, 2024 10:20

Türkiye suspends all trade with Israel

The Jewish state has responded by branding the Turkish leader a ‘dictator’ amid an escalating dispute over Gaza
Türkiye suspends all trade with Israel

The Turkish government has suspended all trade with Israel in response to the Gaza war, the Trade Ministry in Ankara said in a statement posted on social media on Thursday.

Türkiye has been one of Israel’s fiercest critics since the conflict with Hamas broke out in October. The suspension of all export and import operations has been introduced in response to the Jewish state’s “aggression against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights,” the statement read.

Ankara will strictly implement the new measures until Israel allows uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, the document added. Israel has been accused by the UN and human rights groups of obstructing deliveries of aid into the enclave. Turkish officials will coordinate with the Palestinian Authority to ensure that Palestinians are not affected by the suspension of trade, the ministry said.

The total suspension follows last month’s restrictions imposed by Ankara on exports to Israel of 54 product categories including construction materials, machinery, and various chemical products. Türkiye had previously stopped sending Israel any goods that could be used for military purposes.

In response to the latest restrictions, the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused the Turkish leadership of “ignoring international trade agreements.” Foreign Minister Israel Katz took to X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday to claim that by “blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was behaving like a “dictator.” Israel will seek to “create alternatives” for trade with Türkiye, focusing on “local production and imports from other countries,” Katz added.

Israel declared war on Hamas in October in response to a deadly raid staged by the militant group, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage. The retaliatory bombing and ground operation in Gaza has caused the deaths of nearly 35,000 people, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler. Last month, he accused Israel of outdoing the Nazi leader by killing 14,000 children in Gaza.

Israel, meanwhile, has claimed that the Turkish president ranks among the worst anti-Semites in history, due to his stance on the conflict and his support for Hamas