Turkey halts all trade with Israel, cites worsening Palestinian situation

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Cargo ships are seen at the southern entrance to the Bosphorus in Istanbul in October 2022 (Ozan KOSE) AFP

Turkey said Thursday it was suspending all trade with Israel until it allows aid to enter Gaza unhindered during its offensive against Hamas militants in the territory.

“Exports and imports to and from Israel have been suspended,” the trade ministry said in a statement, adding: “Turkey will apply these new measures… until the Israeli government authorises an uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had earlier on Thursday accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of breaking agreements between the two countries by blocking Israeli exports and imports.

The move is the latest incident degrading relations after Turkey, one of the few Muslim-majority nations to recognise Israel, restricted exports to the country in April.

The Gaza Strip is suffering a humanitarian crisis caused by Israel’s war against Hamas that has been raging since October 7, with the United Nations and aid agencies warning of impending famine.

The war started with Hamas’s unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel estimates that 129 captives seized by militants during their attack remain in Gaza. The military says 34 of them are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

AFP AND AGENCIES

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