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  5. Turkey suspended trade with Israel pending a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. Here's what that could mean for Israel.

Turkey suspended trade with Israel pending a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. Here's what that could mean for Israel.

Katie Balevic   

Turkey suspended trade with Israel pending a permanent cease-fire in Gaza. Here's what that could mean for Israel.
  • Turkey has suspended trade with Israel, demanding a cease-fire in Gaza.
  • Turkish authorities criticized Israel, as well as the West, in its announcement.

Turkey halted trade with Israel last week, demanding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza and criticizing Western influence in the war.

Turkey criticized Israel's response to the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas, during which fighters killed 1,200 Israelis and took about 200 others hostage. More than 100 of those hostages are believed to be still in Gaza.

An outpouring of global support for Israel in the aftermath of the attacks quickly dissipated, however, as the scale of Israel's response grew. Some 34,000 Palestinians, mostly civilian women and children, have so far died in Israel's campaign.

Turkish authorities cited Israel's "uncompromising attitude" toward Palestinians, particularly the Israel Defense Forces' recent escalation in the Rafah region of Gaza, in its decision to suspend trade, Reuters reported.

Turkish officials said the country would suspend all exports and imports with Israel, valued at about $7 billion annually, until there is a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.

That's a significant portion of Israel's trade, according to recent trade data. In 2022, the only nations Israel imported from more than Turkey were China and the United States, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a project from the MIT Media Lab.

Though they didn't name the United States, Turkish leaders also called out the West's tolerance and support of the war.

"I want this to be known: we aren't chasing animosity or a fight with any country in our region," Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said, according to Reuters.

In March, diplomatic tensions grew after the United Nations voted for a cease-fire in the region. The United States abstained from the vote, sparking sharp dissent from Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. While the US Congress recently approved a multibillion-dollar aid package to Israel, the relationship between Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden is at an all-time low.

"We have a single goal here: to force the Netanyahu leadership, which has gotten out of control with the West's unconditional military and diplomatic support, to a cease-fire," Erdogan said, according to Reuters.


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