Maldives Just Banned Israelis From Entering

The Maldives says it won't be letting in Israel passport holders amid war against Hamas in Gaza
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2024 6:23 AM CDT
Maldives to Israelis: You Can't Come Here
Stock photo out of the Maldives.   (Getty Images/NaluPhoto)

As some countries are increasingly expressing support for the Palestinian people in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war, one nation has taken things in a new direction. Per the AP, the Maldives has now banned individuals holding Israeli passports from entering the archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with the office of President Mohamed Muizzu noting that the country's laws are set to be amended toward that end. A Cabinet subcommittee will oversee the process, according to a release from Muizzu's office.

"Additionally ... the President decided to appoint a special envoy to assess Palestinian needs," the release notes. "The President further decided to set up a fundraising campaign to assist our brothers and sisters in Palestine ... and to conduct a nationwide rally under the slogan 'Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin,' which translates to 'Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine' to show support." Last week, Muizzu had called online for "an immediate ceasefire, an end to violence, and unhindered humanitarian access" in Gaza, per CNN.

After the ban was announced on Sunday, Israel's Foreign Affairs Ministry warned Israeli citizens to stay away from the Maldives. As for those who decide to stay in the island country, "it is recommended to consider leaving, since if they fall into distress for any reason, it will be difficult for us to help," per the ministry. The AP notes that in 2023, about 11,000 Israelis visited the Maldives, about 0.6% of the tourists there. (More Maldives stories.)

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