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Sanctions On Israel

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SANCTIONS ON ISRAEL

Israel’s allies have ramped up the pressure in recent weeks to allow more aid into Gaza to avert a worsening humanitarian crisis.

But few have so far imposed sanctions on the Middle Eastern country, or boycotted products from Israel.

TURKEY’S STAND

In its first significant measure against Israel since the war began, Turkey has announced it will not resume trade with Israel, worth $7 billion (€6.52 billion) a year, until a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian aid are secured in Gaza.

Israel’s “uncompromising attitude” and the worsening situation in Gaza’s southern Rafah region prompted Turkey to halt all exports and imports, Trade Minister Omer Bolat said on May 3.

THE REACTION:

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz criticised Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s move, saying it breaks international trade agreements and was “how a dictator behaves”.

SANCTIONS BY THE WESTERN COUNTRIES

Among major Western powers, only France has mooted the idea of sanctions to pressure Israel to pull back its troops from Gaza and allow more humanitarian aid to reach displaced Palestinians.

Apart from it, there are very targeted sanctions imposed by the US, Canada, France and UK on settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In February, the Biden administration named two Israeli outposts and several Israeli settlers it accused of undermining stability in the landlocked territory. The State Department said the outposts had been bases for violence against Palestinians. The White House also imposed sanctions on multiple Israeli men it accused of being involved in settler violence in the West Bank.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF SANCTIONS BY THE US?

The sanctions typically freeze any US assets of those targeted and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

Canada, France and the UK imposed similar curbs on several Israeli settlers.

CHILE’S STAND

  • The Chilean government informed Israel last month that its companies would be banned from taking part in the 2024 International Air and Space Fair, FIDAE.
    • Organized by the Chilean Air Force, the fair is regarded as the main aerospace and defense show in Latin America, bringing together exhibitors from more than 40 countries.
  • As well as the ban, Chile has canceled all cooperation or training activities with Israel on Chilean territory. The government said it would no longer purchase any weapons, defense or security systems from Israel.
  • In January, Chile asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Israel’s actions in Gaza and the occupied territories.

THE ARAB COUNTRIES ON ISRAEL

Arab nations have regularly condemned Israel’s aggressive tactics against civilians as it seeks to root out the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

Riyadh has warned that it would only normalize relations with Israel if there is a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel established ties with the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Sudan and Bahrain in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords.

IMPACT ON IMEC

The Israel-Hamas war has halted progress on what is known as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) which aims to foster integration between Asia, the Persian Gulf and Europe.

The project will see new rail and shipping links built to counter China’s massive Belt and Road (BRI) infrastructure initiative. But IMEC is understood to be on hold while the conflict plays out.

There was hope the IMEC could help speed up the long-awaited rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which the Biden administration hoped would help open the door for other Muslim countries to recognize Israel.

THE BDS MOVEMENT

  • Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is a non violent Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments economic sanctions against Israel.
  • Co-founder Omar Barghouti said BDS drew inspiration from South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement.
  • BDS now has branches in 40 countries and has also advocated a boycott of Israeli sporting, cultural and academic events, calling for pressure on foreign companies that “collaborate” with Israel.
  • The movement is regularly accused of antisemitism by Israel and the US.
  • Meanwhile, several apps are helping consumers boycott businesses deemed to be supporting Israel and its war on Gaza.
  • The apps, including one called Boy Cat, allow users to scan the barcode of any product and see its links to the Middle Eastern country. The app also offers a choice of products consumers may buy instead.

 

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