Turkey halts trade with Israel, continuing pro-Hamas stance since outbreak of Gaza war

The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion last year.

By The Algemeiner

Turkey has ceased all exports and imports to and from Israel as of Thursday, according to the Turkish trade ministry.

“Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products,” the ministry said in a statement, citing the “humanitarian tragedy” in the Palestinian territories as the reason.

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

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded forcefully to Ankara, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of violating agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports.

“This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Katz wrote on X/Twitter.

Katz said he directed Israel’s foreign ministry to pursue alternatives for trade with Turkey, emphasizing a focus on local production and imports from other countries.

“Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy,” he added. “We win, and they lose.”

The two countries had a trade volume of $6.8 billion last year.

Last month, Turkey imposed trade restrictions on Israeli exports over Israel’s ongoing war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza following the Oct. 7 massacre.

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Thursday’s announcement by Turkey was the latest step in a recent wave of hostile moves targeting Israel, with Erdogan being one of the Jewish state’s harshest critics.

Just one day earlier, Turkey announced its intention to join South Africa’s so-far-unsuccessful case at the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of committing “state-led genocide” in Gaza.

That came after Erdogan in March threatened to “send [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to Allah to take care of him, make him miserable, and curse him.” He previously accused Israel of operating “Nazi” concentration camps and compared Netanyahu with Adolf Hitler.

Weeks earlier, Erdogan said that Netanyahu was a “butcher” who would be tried as a “war criminal” over Israel’s military operations in Gaza. He has also called Israel a “terror state.”

Turkey hosts senior Hamas officials and, together with Iran and Qatar, has provided a large portion of the Palestinian terror group’s budget.

Several Western and Arab states designate Hamas, an offshoot of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, as a terror group.

However, Erdogan has defended Hamas terrorists as “resistance fighters” against what he described as an Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

Israel withdrew all its troops and civilian settlers from Gaza in 2005.

Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations have nosedived since the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, when the terrorist group that rules Gaza murdered 1,200 people in southern Israel and kidnapped 253 others as hostages, launching the ongoing war in the Palestinian enclave.