Turkey imposes trade restrictions against Israel

Henry

Turkey has imposed several trade restrictions against Israel amid the ongoing war in Gaza where more than 30,000 Palestinians have died due to violence in the past six months.

The restrictions came into effect on Tuesday and apply, among other things, to building materials such as cement, steel and iron.

“This decision will remain in effect until Israel declares an immediate ceasefire and allows sufficient, uninterrupted flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza,” the Turkish Department of Commerce said on social media.

Turkey’s decision comes a day after this country accused Israel of having prevented its efforts to deliver emergency aid to Gaza by air transport.

Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s foreign minister, pledged on Monday to take retaliatory measures against Israel, saying that consequences would be imposed “step by step” and “without delay”.

Turkey is one of the countries that has expressed the sharpest criticism towards Israel over the war in Gaza, with pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan who branded the country a “terrorist state”.

Hamas views new proposal

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is meanwhile looking at a new framework of a proposed agreement that was tabled during the latest negotiation process in Cairo.

Violence has continued in recent weeks despite orders and calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Despite several negotiations, mediators have not yet been able to reach an agreement.

However, Qatari, Egyptian and American mediators have now proposed another temporary ceasefire, a Hamas source confirmed to AFP.

Under the new tripartite proposal, fighting must cease for six weeks so that hostages held by Hamas can be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Hamas says it “appreciates” mediation efforts, but claims that Israel is not heeding any of Hamas’ demands during these mediation talks.

“Nevertheless, the movement’s leadership is still studying the new proposal,” Hamas said in a statement.

Over the weekend – half a year after the war began – Israel indicated that it had withdrawn its troops from the southern city of Khan Yunis to strengthen in preparation for the next phase of the war. This phase includes an invasion of Rafah.

RNews reported earlier that a Rafah offensive could further widen the rift between Israel and its ally the USA. The US has now warned Israel several times not to attack this densely populated city.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, said on Monday that a deployment date for ground troops had already been set. Rafah hosts the most Palestinian refugees displaced in the war.

Netanyahu and his military commanders maintain that military operations in Rafah are necessary to defeat Hamas, despite fears that it would result in the deaths of scores of civilians.

“It will happen, there is a date,” Netanyahu said in a video. However, he did not reveal when Israel plans to invade Rafah.