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Tel Aviv punishes PA in response to Turkiye severing trade ties with Israel

May 4, 2024 at 11:24 am

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz speaks to the press during a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at the EU Council headquarter in Brussels, Belgium on January 22, 2024 [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to Turkiye ceasing all forms of economic exchange with it by announcing that it would work to reduce the volume of trade exchange between Turkiye, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza.

A statement by the Ministry confirmed: “Based on the instructions of Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz, a discussion took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the participation of senior officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and high-level representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They have now ended in the Ministry of Economy and the Tax Authority.”

The statement also noted: “In the discussion, it was decided to promote a number of important and practical decisions, within the framework of inter-ministerial cooperation, as a sharp response to Erdogan’s unilateral decision to stop trade with Israel.”

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Among the most critical steps that were agreed to be strengthened, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry statement, are working to reduce any economic relationship between Turkiye, the PA and Gaza (Turkiye is the largest supplier country to the PA, with its total imports to the PA at about 18 per cent); calling on international economic forums to look into sanctions on Turkiye due to its violation of trade agreements; building an extensive bank of alternatives in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy in order to find alternatives for the Israeli economy in various fields and products immediately and providing assistance to affected Israeli export sectors. Foreign Minister Katz appealed to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to promote an aid package for export sectors in Israel that may be harmed by the Turkish decision.

Commenting on the decisions, Katz stated: “We will not surrender to Erdogan’s blackmail and threats. The dictator Erdogan, who wants to be sultan, is working in the service of Hamas, breaching agreements and seeking to harm Israel, but is in fact harming Palestinians he purports to want to help.”

“Whoever takes unilateral steps against Israel’s economy will receive a painful and appropriate response. Israel’s economy is strong, and Turkey’s economy will be harmed far more… Erdogan will come to regret this error. I ordered the reduction of any economic relations between Erdogan, the Palestinian Authority, and Gaza,” he added.

Katz posted on X: “I have instructed the Director General of the @IsraelMFA to immediately engage with all relevant parties in the government to create alternatives for trade with Turkey, focusing on local production and imports from other countries. Israel will emerge with a strong and daring economy. We Win, and They Lose.”

Turkiye had officially announced the severing of all trade relations with Israel. It stressed that it would not back down until ensuring that humanitarian aid supplies to the Strip would not be interrupted.

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