EU, Cyprus, UAE, US and UK endorse maritime corridor to deliver aid to Gaza

Turkey on Thursday, May 2, suspended all imports and exports to Israel and vowed to continue to impose these measures until the Israeli government allows the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

A Turkish Trade Ministry statement said, “export and import transactions in relation to Israel have been stopped, covering all products.”

At this time, there is no indication as to when the Turkish Government will lift the restrictions, however, they said they would last until Israel allowed an “uninterrupted and sufficient flow” of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Turkish officials would coordinate with Palestinian authorities to ensure that Palestinians are not affected by the suspension of imports and exports, the ministry said.

The ministry described the step as the “second phase” of measures against Israel, adding that the humanitarian tragedy in Palestine is worsening.

Last month, Turkey announced that it was restricting exports of 54 types of products to Israel, effective from April 9, 2024.

Earlier on Thursday, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote on social platform X that Turkish President Erdogan “is breaking agreements by blocking ports for Israeli imports and exports,” adding that he had instructed officials 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.”

Shipping giant Maersk, has responded to the situation, by telling its customers that if they have a new booking that isn’t yet loaded between Israel and Turkey or to Israel via Turkey as a transshipment hub, Maersk will need to trigger a Change of Destination (COD) or cancellation in line with the above restrictions.

Likewise, bookings already on the water will need to be returned to origin or discharged at nearby hubs.

“Our teams are working hard to find the best-possible solutions for customers’ cargo and we will communicate all contingency details with you as soon as possible, including the terms of COD and cancellation. At this time, there is no indication as to when the restrictions will be lifted by the Turkish Government,” Maersk said in an advisory note to its clients.