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Why Has Maldives Banned Israeli Passport Holders?

The Maldives has banned the entry of visitors with Israeli passports amid growing public anger over its ongoing war in Gaza. “President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, following a recommendation from the Cabinet, has resolved to impose a ban on Israeli passports,”.  However, no official details were provided. The president’s office further said that the Cabinet decided to amend necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the country and further establish a subcommittee to oversee these efforts.

Why the Maldives ban Banned Israeli Passport?

Maldives has resolved to impose a ban on people bearing Israeli passports. In a related move, Muizzu launched a national fundraising campaign called “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine”. The decision follows increasing pressure from the opposition and the government’s allies to prohibit Israelis from entering the Maldives in protest against the ongoing war in Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians.

Historical Move

The Maldives had lifted a previous ban on Israeli citizens in the early 1990s and restored diplomatic relations in 2010. However, AFP reported that efforts to normalize relations ceased after former president Mohamed Nasheed’s ousting in 2012.

Israel warns its citizens

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded by advising its nationals not to visit the Maldives and suggesting those who are already there think about leaving. “For Israeli citizens staying in the country, it is recommended to consider leaving, since if they fall into distress for any reason, it will be difficult for us to help,” said the ministry.

Impact of Gaza War

The Gaza conflict has led to at least 36,439 killings, primarily civilians, by Israeli Defence Forces.

Decline in Israeli tourism

Tourism, a cornerstone of the Maldivian economy, has seen a significant decline in Israeli visitors, with an 88 per cent drop in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Why Has Maldives Banned Israeli Passport Holders?