Maldives bans Israeli passport holders over Gaza war | Israel-Palestine Conflict News

The ban on the Indian Ocean archipelago comes in solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza who face relentless attacks and mass starvation.

The Maldives government will ban Israelis from entering the Indian Ocean archipelago, known for its white sand beaches and luxury resorts, as public anger grows in the predominantly Muslim nation over the war in Gaza.

President Mohamed Muizzu “has decided to impose a ban on Israeli passports,” a spokesman for his office said in a statement, without giving details on when the new law will come into force.

Muizzu also announced a national fundraising campaign called “Maldives in Solidarity with Palestine”. Nearly 11,000 Israelis visited the Maldives last year, accounting for 0.6 percent of total tourist arrivals.

Official data also shows that the number of Israelis visiting the Maldives fell to 528 in the first four months of this year, down 88 percent compared to the corresponding period last year.

Opposition parties and government allies in the Maldives have been pressuring Muizzu to expel the Israelis as a sign of protest against the Gaza war. At least 36,439 Palestinians have been killed and 82,627 injured in the conflict since October 7.

‘We’re ok’

The Maldives lifted a previous ban on Israeli tourists in the early 1990s and took steps to restore relations in 2010. However, attempts at normalization failed following the ouster of President Mohamed Nasheed in February 2012.

In response to the ban, a spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry urged citizens currently in the Maldives to leave. “Israeli citizens who remain in the country are advised to consider leaving, as if they fall into danger for any reason, it will be difficult for us to help them.”

Israeli passport holders have also not been allowed to enter Algeria, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

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