Thousands of people marched in the capital, Malé, on Friday night to protest “Israel’s inhumane and ever-escalating war crimes against Palestine and the Palestinian people.” The march, which started at Rasfannu Beach and attended by a large number of women and children, saw strong condemnations of Israel’s apartheid regime, its occupation of Palestinian lands, and the brutal subjugation and harm inflicted on innocent Palestinians.

In the march, organised by local non-governmental organisation (NGO) Aamunge Ekuveri Gulhun (People’s Friendly Alliance) and the Right Movement, participants called for a boycott of Israel and voiced denunciation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A similarly large protest was held in Malé on 13 October with more continuing across several islands in the country. 

Meanwhile the Israeli foreign ministry had issued a travel advisory to all Israelis, warning them against travelling to the Maldives, stating that anti-Israeli sentiment in the country had reached an all time high.

Several NGOs, media and private individuals have concurrently been conducting fund raising activities to provide aid to Palestinians in dire need as they endure escalating Israeli bombardment, closing in on two weeks of unrelenting organised military action which began after sporadic attacks by Hamas on 7 October. The International Aid Campaign (IAC), a Maldivian NGO providing aid to Palestine, has raised more than MVR 12 million (approximately US$ 778,000) in funds so far.

More than 4,000 Palestinians have been killed in the attacks with more than 15,000 injured, most of whom are children. Entire generations of families have been wiped out in what many observers say is “a clear act of genocide, and war crimes, against the Palestinian people, carried out by Israel’s oppressive apartheid regime.”