Maldives will ban Israelis from entering the country over the war in Gaza


FILE - Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 U.N. Climate Summit, Dec. 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. India has urged pro-China Maldives to ease tensions and improve their strained relationship. The foreign ministers of India and Maldives met in New Delhi on Thursday, a day ahead of a deadline set by the Maldives’ new president for India to withdraw dozens of its soldiers from the archipelago nation. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Maldives government will ban Israelis from the Indian Ocean archipelago, known for luxury resorts, as public anger in the predominantly Muslim nation rises over the war in Gaza.

The president’s office said Sunday that the Cabinet 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, and those currently there to consider leaving.

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


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