The Maldivian government on Sunday decided to amend laws to ban Israeli passport holders from entering the Indian Ocean archipelago, amid mounting public anger in the country over the devastating attacks by Israeli forces on Gaza.

The decision was announced by Home Minister Ali Ihusan at an emergency press briefing at the President`s Office, news portal reported.

“The cabinet decided today to make the legal amendments necessary to ban entry into the Maldives on Israeli passports as soon as possible, he said.

The cabinet has set up a special committee of ministers to expedite the process, the news portal added.

Maldives receives more than one million tourists each year. This includes around 15,000 tourists from Israel.

The cabinet also decided to appoint a special presidential envoy to identify the areas in which Palestine requires support from Maldives and organise fundraising events to assist Palestinians through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

While the cabinet decided to ban Israeli passports, the actual implementation of the decision will require legal reforms, the news portal reported.

The Gaza conflict began on October 7 after Hamas initiated an attack on Israel, killing over 800 and capturing 240 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.

Israel launched a massive counter-offensive against the Palestinian militant group that has ruled Gaza since 2007. More than 36,000 people, including women and children, have been killed in Gaza in Israeli action, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

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