Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu 

Maldives to ban Israeli passport holders amid Gaza conflict

Online Desk

The Maldives government has decided to ban Israelis from the Indian Ocean archipelago known for white sand beaches and luxury resorts as public anger in the predominantly Muslim nation rises over the war in Gaza, Al Jazeera reported.

Opposition parties and government allies in the Maldives have been putting pressure on President Muizzu to ban Israelis as a sign of protest against the Gaza war. At least 36,439 Palestinians have been killed and 82,627 wounded in the conflict since October 7, Al Jazeera said.

Finally, the decision, according to SunOnline, was announced by Home Minister Ali Ihusan, in an emergency press briefing at the President’s Office on late Sunday afternoon.

According to Ihusan, the decision was made during a cabinet meeting held earlier in the day.

“The cabinet decided today to make the legal amendments necessary to ban entry into the Maldives on Israeli passports as soon as possible,” he said.

While the cabinet decided to ban Israeli passports, the actual implementation of the decision will require legal reforms, SunOnline said.

At Sunday’s press briefing, Ihusan said the Maldivian administration is working to ban Israeli passports “as soon as possible.”

Maldives sees over one million tourist arrivals each year. This includes around 15,000 tourists from Israel.

The cabinet, according to SunOnline, also made four other key decisions with regard to Palestine. They are:

*To appoint a special presidential envoy to inquire about the areas in which Palestine requires support from Maldives

*To hold fundraisers to assist Palestinians through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

*To hold a nationwide rally under the slogan “Faladheenaa Eku Dhiveheen”, which translates to “Maldivians in solidarity with Palestine.”

*To hold discussions with other Muslim nations to expedite a solution to the Palestinian conflict