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Maldives walks back on decision to ban entry of Israelis

The Maldives has suspended its decision to ban all entry to holders of Israeli passports, which it had taken earlier in June due to the Gaza War.

The Attorney General of the Maldives, Ahmed Usham, highlighted the challenges facing this measure which attracted media attention around the world.

In a press conference on Thursday, Usham said that the comprehensive ban on holders of Israeli passports “requires further scrutiny,” stressing that “while the government’s position remains unchanged, there are important issues that must be addressed,” the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

He explained: “The biggest source of concern is that there are many Palestinians who hold Israeli passports, millions of them. What happens when we impose a comprehensive ban? These are matters that need careful study.”

Currently, there is no new draft law on the agenda of the Maldivian Parliament to impose such a ban.

Usham added that an opposition member presented a similar proposal in the past, which sought to ban the entry of anyone holding an Israeli passport, even if they possessed another foreign passport.

“We believe the best approach is to take the current bill and amend it during committee discussions. Therefore, the government will not present an additional draft law,” Usham said.

Earlier this month, following the announcement by the Maldives on its intention to ban Israelis, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a recommendation to its citizens to avoid traveling to the Maldives, a recommendation that also applies to those who hold foreign passports.

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