Maldives bans Israelis from entering the country over war in Gaza

Monday, June 3, 2024 - The government of the Maldives will ban Israeli citizens from its nation over the war in Gaza in the predominantly Muslim nation.

The president's office said the Cabinet had decided to change laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the country and to establish a subcommittee to oversee the process.

It said President Mohamed Muizu will appoint a special envoy to assess the Palestinian needs and to launch a fundraising campaign.

Israel's foreign ministry spokesperson, Oren Marmorstein said in response that the foreign ministry recommends Israelis avoid any travel to the Maldives, including those with foreign passports.

He also recommended those currently there consider leaving.

Nearly 11,000 Israelis visited Maldives last year, 0.6% of the total tourist arrivals.

The government considered an enforced ban on Israelis as early as November 2023, local media reported.

Maldives MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdullah, who first proposed the bill, said he introduced it in response to ‘indiscriminate Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.’

The Hamas attack resulted in the deaths of 1,190 people in Israel, mostly civilians.

Militants also abducted some 250 people, Israelis, and foreigners, 120 of whom are still held captive in Gaza, including 37 who the military says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory bombardment and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip has killed 36,439 people, also mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

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