Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution banning the entry of Israeli passport holders and the import of goods manufactured in Israel, which serves as a condemnation of Israeli aggression in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The resolution, proposed by Saud Hussain, the Member of Parliament for Villingili, on 14 October 2023, received the unanimous support of 41 lawmakers.

The parliamentary committee that reviewed the resolution presented its report on Monday. The debate that ensued was marked by strong condemnation of the atrocities perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinians in the occupied territories: the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. A majority of lawmakers advocated for an explicit prohibition on the entry of Israeli passport holders into the Maldives as tourists.

The resolution also imposes a sweeping embargo on all products and imports from Israel and calls on the government to sever any existing diplomatic ties with Israel. This legislative action follows a letter sent to President Mohamed Muizzu on 16 November 2023, in which the parliament advised the cessation of entry permissions for Israeli passport holders.

This legislative action aligns the Maldives with numerous Arab nations and member states of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which have implemented varying degrees of restrictions on the entry of Israelis.

The government’s response to the letter, sent at the behest of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, remains unclear.

South Mahchangolhi MP Ahmed Haitham brought the issue to the parliament’s attention. The most recent communication from the President’s Office, on 28 January, indicated that the cabinet’s economic and social councils were reviewing the parliament’s request.

The Israeli forces have maintained their occupation of Palestinian lands for over 75 years, subjecting the Palestinian people to inhumane treatment and apartheid rule. On 7 October 2023, Israeli forces launched an unprecedented attack on Gaza, which the international community, including the Maldives, has since condemned as a violation of international human rights laws.

Since then, Israeli forces have killed over 32,916 Palestinians and wounded over 75,494, according to the health ministry in Gaza. Despite a resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council calling for a cessation of hostilities in the occupied enclave for the remainder of the fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli forces have continued their offensive.