Turkey halts trade with Israel, decides to join South Africa’s genocide case against Tel Aviv at world court

A child stands on the rubble of a destroyed house.

Turkey halted all trade activities with Israel due to the latter’s “non-stop violence” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Turkish Trade Ministry said.

The move follows Turkey’s imposition of restrictions on an array of exports to Israel since last month, which Ankara said on Thursday would remain in effect until a ceasefire in Gaza is achieved.

In a statement, the Ministry recalled that Ankara previously restricted the export of 54 product groups to Israel in April because the “massacre, humanitarian catastrophe, and physical destruction caused by Israel continued,” and the Israeli government “ignored” international ceasefire efforts and blocked humanitarian aid, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Wednesday, the chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Justice Committee said that Türkiye will officially apply to be part of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“After the decision to join (the case) is made by our esteemed President, we will submit our official application following legal work. As we have done until today, we will continue our efforts with determination to ensure the condemnation of Israel, which has been condemned by the conscience of humanity, and also in the eyes of the law,” said Cuneyt Yuksel in a written statement.

Pointing to Israel’s 75 years of “apartheid,” 56 years of “occupation” and 16-year siege aimed at the colonization and annexation of Palestinian territories, Yuksel said “the Palestinian issue, envisaged to be based on the rule of law and international law, is a matter that could even affect the sustainability of the current international order and lead to global consequences.”

He said that Israel blatantly violates the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Emphasising that international law must be applied equally to everyone without any exceptions or privileges under any circumstances, Yuksel expressed his belief that the ICJ would act in accordance with this principle.

He said they expect the world court to reveal the genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Israel and to promptly initiate the adjudication process.

“Türkiye has decided to seek to join in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ,” Hakan Fidan told a joint news conference alongside his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi.

“With this step, we hope that the process in front of the ICJ will progress in the right direction,” Fidan added.

Since October 7, 2023, Israel has killed more than 34,500 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and thousands were injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling siege on the seaside enclave, leaving most of its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

Vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, according to the UN.

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