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Israel passport holders banned from enteringMaldives

The government of the Maldives have decided to bar Israeli nationals from entering the archipelago due to the ongoing Gaza war.

The cabinet had recommended amending “necessary laws to prevent Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives,” the office of President Mohamed Muizzu said on Sunday.

Muizzu had decided to follow the proposal, it said.

The ban would be enforced as soon as possible, Interior Minister Ali Ihusaan told journalists.

“Additionally, in the case of Palestine and Israel, the President decided to appoint a special envoy to assess Palestinian needs,” the statement continued.

“The President further decided to set up a fundraising campaign to assist our brothers and sisters in Palestine with the help of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry responded by recommending that Israeli citizens refrain from travelling to the Maldives, a high-end holiday destination known for its white beaches, coral reefs, and crystal waters.

The ministry said those already in the country should consider returning to Israel.

Israel issued a travel warning for the Maldives in December, citing anti-Israeli sentiments over the Gaza war in the Muslim-majority country where Islam is the state religion.

The two nations don’t maintain full diplomatic ties, but Israelis have so far been able to holiday in the Maldives.

Last year, some 11,000 Israeli tourists visited the archipelago, according to Maldives officials.

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