In 2007, I found myself in a car with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and then-Israeli President Shimon Peres en route to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly. During their historic visit to Ankara, which I had the privilege of hosting, both leaders addressed the Turkish parliament, advocating peace and a two-state solution.

This was just two years after Turkey launched its Industry for Peace project, which sought to rehabilitate the Erez industrial park in Gaza. When my Palestinian and Israeli counterparts and I endorsed this initiative, we were all optimistic that developing the Palestinian economy would pave a path toward sustainable peace in the region.

Regrettably, this dream was extinguished by Israel’s decision that year to impose a land, sea and air blockade on Gaza. Sixteen years later, having witnessed the events of Oct. 7 and their aftermath, I am once again overcome by disappointment and sorrow over this lost opportunity for lasting peace.