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As Turkey Cuts Trade Ties, Israel’s Isolation Grows

Turkey said on Friday that it would suspend all trade with Israel until there was a “permanent cease-fire” in the Gaza Strip, the latest international sanction against Israel and one that underscores the mounting global pressure to end the war in the territory.

Turkey’s announcement built on statements the previous day that it had halted all trade with Israel until “uninterrupted and adequate humanitarian aid is allowed into Gaza.” But even as Turkey announced the measures, Israel continued its repeated warnings that it was preparing for an offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that the United Nations said on Friday could result in a “slaughter” in Gaza.

In announcing the trade suspension, the Turkish trade minister, Omer Bolat, spoke of Israel’s “uncompromising attitude.” Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told a business association on Friday that he anticipated backlash from Western countries but that Turkey had decided to “stand side by side with the persecuted.”

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, has criticized Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and defended Hamas. Credit…Khalil Hamra/Associated Press

Israel’s foreign minister, Israel Katz, reacted to the move by lashing out at Mr. Erdogan. “This is how a dictator behaves, disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements,” Mr. Katz said in a social media post.

Turkey has a large trade surplus with Israel, according to the latest United Nations figures, with $5.4 billion in exports to Israel last year and $1.64 billion in imports.

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