The Maldives will extend its support to the people of Palestine through a telethon, aiming to raise much-needed funds to help those affected by the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip. More than 1,100 Palestinians have been killed with more than 5,00 injured in indiscriminate attacks by Israel following an attack against Isreal by Hamas fighters on Saturday.

The International Aid Campaign (IAC) Vice Chairman Adam Naaif, speaking at a news conference, said that the organisation was coordinating several activities planned to assist Gaza. One of them is the media-initiated telethon, which will run from Friday to Tuesday, he said.

Collection boxes will be placed outside all mosques in Malé before Friday prayers, he said. IAC has also advocated for other islands to take the initiative to set up collection boxes in their mosques.

A women’s rally will be held across the country on Friday evening to show solidarity with Palestine, with a silent protest also planned for Saturday night at Malé’s Artificial Beach.

In 2021, the Maldives held a large demonstration against Israeli attacks on Palestine. The Maldives has consistently supported the Palestinian cause with financial and material assistance.

While many governments and media organisations in the west, including the United States of America, continue to profess full-throated support for Israel’s indiscriminate, and vastly disproportionate, escalating attacks against the Palestinian population, the Palestinian Authority has consistently maintained Hamas as not representative of its cause. The Gaza Strip, the target of the ongoing Israeli bombardment, has been under crippling Israeli military siege since 2007. As part of the ongoing offensive, Israel has cut water and electricity supplies to Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world and home to over 2.3 million Palestinians.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency says over 220,000 internally displaced Palestinians were sheltering in 88 schools across the Gaza Strip, a number that is projected to increase. The agency says twenty of its schools have been affected by the Israeli airstrikes and nine of its personnel have been killed. 

Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights organisations say that apartheid is being practiced by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In a report published last year, Amnesty International said; “Israel imposes a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians across all areas under its control: in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories], and against Palestinian refugees, in order to benefit Jewish Israelis. This amounts to apartheid as prohibited in international law.”  

“Laws, policies and practices which are intended to maintain a cruel system of control over Palestinians, have left them fragmented geographically and politically, frequently impoverished, and in a constant state of fear and insecurity,” the report said.

More enlightened voices, such as the former finance minister of Greece and Secretary-General of Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), Ioannis Georgiou “Yanis” Varoufakis, quoting the late Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, continue to describe Israel’s occupation as a system of Apartheid against the Palestinian people.

Additional writing by Ibrahim Inaan