Photo Credit: Yoav Dudkevitch/TPS
Israel Katz, now Israel's Foreign Minister, at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Dec. 25, 2023.

Israel has formed a “sharp response” to Turkey’s announcement of a trade ban against Israel, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Earlier this week Turkish exports to Israel — specifically to the ports of Haifa and Ashdod — were banned by the Ankara government, while Israeli goods arriving at Turkish ports are no longer allowed to unload their cargoes. By Friday, Turkey had officially announced it will not resume trade with Israel, worth $7 billion a year, until a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian aid are secured in Gaza.


Foreign Minister Katz, the ministry’s director general and other senior officials, plus senior representatives of the Economy Ministry and the Tax Authority decided in response to take a number of steps to ensure the Jewish State cannot be hamstrung by the move.

“In the discussion, it was decided to promote, in inter-ministerial cooperation, a number of significant and operative decisions as a sharp response to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s unilateral decision to stop trade with Israel,” the Foreign Ministry announced.

Among the main steps agreed upon were:

• Action to reduce any economic relationship between Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Gaza (Turkey is the largest importing country to the Palestinian Authority, with imports totaling approximately 18 percent).

• Appeal to international economic forums to examine sanctions against Turkey for violating trade agreements.

• Building a broad alternatives bank, in cooperation with the Economy Ministry, to find alternatives for the Israeli economy in a variety of fields and products in the immediate time frame.

• ⁠Assistance to Israeli export sectors that were affected.

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.

Katz wrote in a post on the X social media platform Thursday that Erdogan “is breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports.

“This is how a dictator behaves,” Katz wrote, “disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen, and ignoring international trade agreements.

“I have instructed the Director General of the Israel 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,” Katz added. “We Win and They Lose.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.