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Israel-Hamas Peace Talks Fall Apart


Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

In the Middle East, this week’s peace talks saw Hamas agree to proposals for a ceasefire laid out by Egypt and Qatar, but Israel proceeded with its incursion into Rafah (southern Gaza), ordering a full-scale invasion. That took peace talks off the table again and came with a warning from the Biden administration that the U.S. would pause bomb shipments to Israel over civilian deaths. On Thursday, Netanyahu responded by saying Israel could “stand alone”.

Last week, Turkey cut off its $9+-billion annual trade with Israel over the war in Gaza, and this week, it eased some sanctions, though Ankara was careful to deny there was any actual easing. After Ankara said it would offer a three-month reprieve for companies with existing export deals to Israel, Tel Aviv described it as an easing of restrictions from Erdogan, which Ankara denied. Erdogan will not want to be seen retreating here, but the reality is that breaking off trade relations with Israel is not beneficial to Turkey, but it is arguably more harmful to Israel. Last year, Turkey and Israel did $6.8 billion in trade (Turkish data). Israel is Turkey’s 13th biggest trade partner, while Turkey is Israel’s 5th biggest trade partner. The ban will remain in place until Israel agrees to a ceasefire and allows humanitarian aid to pass through to Gaza. Azerbaijani oil, which travels through Turkey on its way to Israel, is exempted from the ban. Overall, the ban is Erdogan's response…

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