The Mohamed Muizzu administration has announced its intention to propose an amendment to existing laws to ban the entry of Israeli passport holders into the country. This decision comes in the wake of the Israeli offensive in Gaza, which has killed over 36,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and left more than 82,000 injured.

The move comes more than six months after Maldivian parliament recommended the government to impose such a ban. The parliament made the recommendation following Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in October last year.

Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusaan revealed the decision at a press conference on Sunday. A committee of cabinet ministers tasked with overseeing the process of banning Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives will also be formed, according to the minister.

“We are examining the legal avenues to expedite this implementation. We have determined that this can be accomplished solely through legislative measures,” said Ihusaan.

In a further show of support for Palestine, President Muizzu has decided to appoint a special envoy to liaise with Palestinian authorities. The envoy will explore how the Maldives can assist Palestine, particularly regarding the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, according to Ihusaan.

The cabinet has also decided to hold a fundraising event to help provide humanitarian assistance to over 2.3 million people, of whom more than a million, according to the United Nations, are facing imminent starvation. A nationwide rally under the banner of “Falastheenaa’eku Dhivehi” (Maldivians with Palestinians) is also planned to show solidarity with the people of Palestine.

While the Muizzu administration has announced its intention to ban Israeli passport holders from entering the Maldives, the opposition 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.