Israel’s foreign ministry on Sunday advised its citizens, including those with dual citizenship, against travelling to the Maldives. This advisory comes in the wake of the Maldivian government’s decision to propose an amendment to existing laws to ban the entry of visitors with Israeli passports.

The Israeli ministry stated, “For Israeli citizens already in the country, it is recommended to consider leaving, because if they find themselves in distress for any reason, it will be difficult for us to assist.”

President Mohamed Muizzu, following a recommendation from the cabinet, decided to propose a legislative amendment to ban Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives. The cabinet also recommended the establishment of establishing a cabinet subcommittee to oversee these efforts.

The number of Israeli nationals visiting the Maldives has seen a significant drop this year, with only 528 visitors in the first four months, compared to 4,644 during the same period in 2023, according to government data.

The move to ban Israeli tourists comes more than six months after the Maldivian parliament recommended the government impose such a ban, following the launch of Israel’s deadly military offensive in Gaza in October of last year. Israeli forces have killed over 36,439 Palestinians, most of them innocent women and children, and wounded over 82,627 since then.

While the Muizzu administration announced its intention to implement the ban, the main opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has already submitted an amendment bill to parliament. South Galolhu lawmaker Meekail Naseem, on behalf of the MDP, proposed the amendment to the Maldives Immigration Act. The bill seeks to amend the law to ban the entry of Israeli passport holders, including dual citizens, into the Maldives.