Turkey halts all trade with Israel until permanent Gaza ceasefire, taking relations to all time low

Saturday, May 4, 2024 - The Republic of Turkey says it will not resume trade with Israel, worth $7 billion a year until a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian aid are secured in Gaza.

With this move announced Friday, May 3, Turkey becomes the first of Israel's key partners to halt trade over the conflict.

"We decided to stop exports and imports to and from Israel until a permanent ceasefire is achieved (in Gaza) and humanitarian aid is allowed without interruption," the minister Bolat said.

Turkey is negotiating "with our Palestinian brothers on alternative arrangements to ensure that they are not affected by this decision", he added while announcing April trade figures.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz criticised Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's move, saying it breaks international trade agreements and was "how a dictator behaves".

The militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, praised the decision as brave and supportive of Palestinian rights.

Last month, Turkey curbed exports of steel, fertiliser and jet fuel among 54 product categories over what it said was Israel's refusal to allow Ankara to take part in aid air-drop operations for Gaza.

All remaining trade, which amounted to $5.4 billion in Turkish exports and $1.6 billion in Israeli imports last year, is now halted.

Top Turkish exports to Israel are steel, vehicles, plastics, electrical devices and machinery, while imports are dominated by fuels at $634 million last year, Turkish trade data show.

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