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Maldives May Break Ties with Israel

A Maldives government minister urges breaking ties with Israel, established two years ago. Protesters want an end to El Al flights.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/26/2011, 6:33 PM

A Maldives government minister is urging a break in the ties established two years ago with Israel.

Dr. Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari told a national security meeting that the parliament should pass a resolution that prohibits the government from having any relations with Israel, according to the Maldives website Haveeru.

Maldives, a popular resort area, has resisted Arab world calls to expel Israel from the United Nations and has co-sponsored U.N. resolutions against Holocaust denial.

However, radical Muslim fervor has also reached the Muslim country of Maldives, which recently approved allowing El Al’s Sun D’Or subsidiary to begin flights there this month. The parliamentary national security committee has launched an investigation into the possibility of the Israeli operations posing a security threat to the country.

The religious Adhaalath Party stated, “If there is a terrorist attack in the Maldives due to the commencement of Zionist Israel’s flight operations to Maldives, the tourist arrival rates for the next 12 months will decline by 10-36 percent.”

Another concern to the party is a plan to turn over a Maldives island to an Israeli company for agricultural purposes, a move that Adhaalath official Dr. Mauroof Hussein said “would allow Jews to occupy Maldives just as they occupied Palestinian territories after entering into the Muslim holy land for agricultural purposes.”

Hussein's allegation of the unnamed Israeli company’s land acquisition was denied by a government legislator, who said Maldives laws would not allow transferring ownership of a land to a foreign country.

Last Friday, thousands of demonstrators called on the government to stop “anti-Islamic” activities, which they said include allowing Israeli flights and the sale of alcohol. They also called for demolishing monuments that have been donated by non-Muslim countries.