President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has strongly condemned the actions of the Israeli occupation forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, calling on the international community to investigate the human rights violations committed by Israeli forces against Palestinians.

In his statement commemorating the anniversary of the day the Maldives embraced Islam issued on Monday, President Solih, representing the sentiments of all Maldivian citizens, implored the international community to seek justice for the millions of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

The Israeli military has been bombarding Gaza since 7 October, with the death toll from overnight Israeli air raids rising to 71 after attacks on Rafah and three homes bombed in Khan Younis, as reported by Al Jazeera. The total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since 7 October has risen to 2,800. Over 10,000 are reported wounded in the ongoing Israeli offensive.

The Israeli bombardment has also displaced over a million Palestinians, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Border crossings have been closed, and Israel is blocking aid delivery to those in need.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Maldivian government strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli military aggression against innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip. The statement reads, “The Government of the Republic of Maldives considers these deliberate acts of aggression against the innocent civilian population of Palestine a blatant disregard and violation of international humanitarian law, tantamount to a war crime.”

On Friday, thousands rallying in solidarity with the Palestinian cause filled the streets of Malé, the capital city, and several other islands. This mass demonstration marked a significant display of unity and support for the ongoing Palestinian struggles. The International Aid Campaign (IAC), a local non-governmental organisation, also launched a telethon in collaboration with local media outlets, amplifying the voices advocating for the Palestinian cause.

In his statement marking the anniversary of the day the Maldives embraced Islam, President Solih emphasised the sacred responsibility of the entire Islamic Ummah to collectively work towards alleviating the suffering of oppressed Muslims globally. He stressed that for such an effort to be successful, Muslim communities must strengthen their fraternal ties, bridge divisions, and stand united as a single Ummah. The Maldives commemorates this significant day annually on 2 Rabi’ al-Akhir per the Islamic calendar.