Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip ErdoganReuters

Turkey on Thursday suspended all export and import operations with Israel due to what it described as its "aggression against Palestine in violation of international law and human rights," the Turkish Trade Ministry announced, according to the Anadolu news agency.

"Since the first day, our country has rushed to the aid of the people of Gaza, delivered tens of thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to the region by ships and planes, especially food, health and medical aid materials, evacuated thousands of patients and stood by our Palestinian brothers and sisters in these difficult days," the ministry said.

"However, the massacre, humanitarian catastrophe and physical destruction caused by Israel continued, and the Israeli government ignored international ceasefire efforts and prevented humanitarian aid," it added.

Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows the uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza, it noted.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to the Turkish move and said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “is breaking 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.”

“I have instructed the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 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,” said Katz.

Thursday’s move comes several weeks after Turkey restricted exports to Israel of 54 product categories.

At the time, Turkey said the reason for the move was Israel denying a Turkish request to join air drops of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israel and Turkey formally announced in August of 2022 that they would normalize relations by returning the ambassadors and consuls, after years of tensions.

However, since the start of the war against Hamas in Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resumed his frequent verbal attacks on Israel.

In one speech, the Turkish President said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “committed one of the greatest atrocities of this century in Gaza and has already put his name down in history as the butcher of Gaza."

In March, Erdogan again lashed out at Israel and at Netanyahu, saying they are “like today’s Nazis.”

Foreign Minister Israel Katz later summoned the Turkish deputy ambassador for a reprimand in the wake of Erdogan's attacks on Netanyahu.