Turkey on Saturday became the latest country to pull its ambassador from Israel since the beginning of Israel’s war with Gaza-based militant group Hamas, citing Israel’s refusal to heed calls for a humanitarian pause in the conflict.
Turkey recalled ambassador Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, according to a statement from Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday morning, calling out Israel for an “unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Gaza” after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “no longer someone we can talk to,” though Erdogan acknowledged: “complete disconnection is not possible, especially in international diplomacy.”
More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed, many of whom were civilians killed in Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, which started the ongoing war — more than 9,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza, most being women and minors, according to the Associated Press, citing the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.
Honduras on Friday also recalled its ambassador Roberto Martinez “amid the grave humanitarian situation” in Gaza, the country’s Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said on X, formerly known as Twitter, becoming the latest Latin American country to cut diplomatic ties with Israel.
Bahrain’s Parliament said Thursday the Middle Eastern country had suspended its economic ties with Israel and recalled its ambassador, while Israel’s ambassador in Bahrain was also sent back to Israel, though Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed it had not been notified of the decision, calling relations between the two countries “stable,” multiple outlets reported.
Jordan, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, recalled its ambassador and ordered Israel’s ambassador in Jordan not to return to the country, its Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday in a statement on X, accusing Israel of “killing innocent people” and “causing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe” with “dangerous possibilities for its expansion.”
Bolivia also broke ties with Israel on Wednesday, with Bolivia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani condemning the “aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive” in Gaza, according to multiple translations.
Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro announced Tuesday the country had recalled ambassador Margarita Manjarrez, with Petro also calling for a cease-fire in the conflict.
Chile also brought back its ambassador from Israel on Tuesday, with its Foreign Affairs Ministry issuing a statement saying it “strongly condemns” Israel’s military operations, calling it a “great concern” and arguing Israel’s operations in Gaza equate to “collective punishment.”
Lior Haiat, a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, slammed Turkey’s decision to recall its ambassador in a post on X, calling the move “another step by the Turkish president that sides with the Hamas terrorist organization.”
Netanyahu on Friday rejected calls for pauses in Israel’s war with Hamas, vowing to continue military operations in Gaza “with full force” and conditioning any pause in Israeli military action on Hamas’ release of Israeli hostages. U.S. officials, along with those of other western countries, have called for pauses in the conflict to allow for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and for the safe release of hostages.
What To Watch For
Israel’s continued ground invasion of Gaza, the so-called second stage of the war, which Israel Defense Forces had postponed for more than two weeks following Hamas’ military assault on October 7. Over the past week, Israel — which had launched an immediate aerial retaliation on Gaza following Hamas’ attack — has encircled Gaza City and claimed Tuesday it killed a senior Hamas commander. The conflict inside Gaza City will likely become a complicated ground escalation, experts warn, citing Hamas’ lengthy tunnel system and Hamas’ tactic of operating in and underneath civilian areas.