Maldives to ban Israelis from entering country amid war in Gaza

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The Maldives has announced it will ban Israeli passport holders from entering the country amid its war on Hamas in Gaza.

The presidential office of the Indian Ocean island nation, known for its luxurious resorts and endless white sand beaches, made the announcement in a press release Sunday.

Maldivian President Dr Mohamed Muizzu resolved to impose the ban following a recommendation from the cabinet, the release said.

The country’s laws will be amended, and a cabinet subcommittee will be established to oversee the efforts, the president’s office said.

Following news of the ban, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended Israelis avoid travel to the island and “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.”

Maldives' President Mohamed Muizzu attends the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. - Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
Maldives' President Mohamed Muizzu attends the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. - Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images

The president announced he is appointing a special envoy to assess Palestinian needs and is setting up a fundraiser to “assist our brothers and sisters in Palestine” with UNRWA, the release said.

Muizzu will also conduct a nationwide rally under the slogan “Falastheenaa Eku Dhivehin,” which translates to “Maldivians in Solidarity with Palestine.”

The news comes just a few days after the president condemned an Israeli airstrike attack on a displaced camp in Rafah, which killed at least 45 Palestinians and injured more than 200.

“Together with the government and people of Maldives, I call for an immediate ceasefire, an end to violence and unhindered humanitarian access,” the president posted on X last week.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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