Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Madives/Israel: Israelis Evacuated from Maldivian Resort for Destroying Anti-Israeli Placard

According to AFP Israeli tourists were evacuated from their Maldivian resort after one of them tore up an anti-Israeli placard equating the Nazi Swastika to the Israeli flag on Wednesday (July 30).

Some 30 Israeli surfers were moved out to safety from Thulusdhoo island, near the capital island of Male, as residents of the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim archipelago protested the pulling down of anti-Israeli placards.

Tensions rose after an Israeli tore down the placard daubed with a Swastika which had been pinned to a coconut tree.

"There could have been an ugly incident and that is why the tourists were evacuated from the resort,"a local official told AFP.

COMMENT: He said Israelis were not banned from entering the archipelago, best known for its upscale tourism, but the Maldives was bitter with Israel over the violence.

"We have not banned them, but Israeli tourist must remember that they are visiting a 100% Muslim country," an official said. "We unequivocally and unconditionally support the Palestinian cause."

He said the Maldives had also put in place measures to express their opposition to Israel.

The Maldives this week began implementing a ban on Israeli-made goods and also abrogated three cooperation agreements on health, tourism and education.

The Maldives, which is known for pristine beaches and secluded coral islands popular with honeymooners, attracts over a million tourists last year of which less than 1% originate from Israel.

Maldivians have also begun collecting money to help Palestinians in Gaza where more than three weeks of Israeli attacks have killed nearly 1,300 people.