Photo Credit: Shahee Ilyas / Wikimedia
Malé, capital of Maldives, 2006

More international hate has been directed at Israel.

Israelis were advised Sunday evening that citizens of the Jewish State are not welcome in Maldives, a Muslim-majority nation that in recent years had become a popular Israeli tourist destination.


The Maldives is located south of India and consists of two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean just across the equator, with a population of 523,787 as of 2022.

“In light of the Maldives government’s decision to ban the entry of citizens with Israeli passports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that Israeli citizens avoid any travel to the Maldives,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a Hebrew-language warning.

“The recommendation is also valid for Israeli citizens holding a foreign passport, in addition to the Israeli passport,” the ministry warned.

“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,” the ministry added.

Israel was the third nation to formally recognize Maldives in 1965, and the Israeli Ambassador was the first to present his credentials to the president of the new country.

But the positive vibes didn’t last long, and Maldives suspended diplomatic ties with Israel in 1974.

Fast forward three and a half decades later: Maldives signed cooperation agreements with Israel in 2009, focusing on tourism, health, education and culture. Israel even sent a team of eye doctors to the country in 2010, to treat patients and train local medical personnel.

The next year, Maldives’ then-Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem because his country’s first top official to visit the Jewish State.

However, in 2014 Maldives announced it was joining the international boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) economic war on Israel, boycotting Israeli products when the IDF launched a military operation in Gaza against Hamas in response to its terrorist attacks and abductions of Israelis. Maldives pledged to “fully support” the Palestinian Authority with humanitarian aid and backing at international forums, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In July 2018, then-President Abdulla Yameen formally terminated the country’s cooperation agreements with Israel.

One week after Hamas launched its war against Israel, invading the Jewish State and slaughtering some 1,200 people while abducting some 250 others, Maldivian MP Saud Hussain submitted a resolution to the parliament seeking to ban arrivals from Israel to the Maldives as a formal recognition of the Maldives government’s condemnation of Israeli military attacks on Hamas in Gaza.

The parliamentary resolution called for a travel ban on Israeli citizens to the Maldives as well as a ban on Israeli imports.

“It is imperative for Maldives to end or suspend all forms of relationship with Israel immediately and to maintain this decision until the Israeli government relinquishes control of the lands it has forcefully occupied from Palestine,” the resolution read.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.