Malaysia Bans Israeli Ships in Response to Gaza Conflict

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Wednesday a comprehensive ban on Israeli ships docking at the country's ports.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Malaysia Bans Israeli Ships in Response to Gaza Conflict
© Getty Images News/Justin Sullivan

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Wednesday a comprehensive ban on Israeli ships docking at the country's ports. This decision, as reported by Anadolu, represents a forceful stance by Malaysia against Israel's ongoing military actions in the Gaza Strip.

"The Malaysian government decided to block and disallow the Israeli-based shipping company ZIM from docking at any Malaysian port," Anwar stated.
This restriction is a direct response to what the Malaysian government perceives as Israel's violation of basic humanitarian principles and international law in its actions against Palestinians.

Furthermore, Malaysia has extended this prohibition to all ships flying the Israeli flag and those en route to Israel from loading cargo in Malaysian ports.

"Both of these restrictions are effective immediately," the prime minister affirmed, marking a significant shift in Malaysia's policy towards Israel.

Impact on Global Shipping and Regional Conflict

This decision by Malaysia is not isolated from the broader context of regional and global challenges affecting shipping routes. The Red Sea, a critical passage for East-West trade, has been jeopardized by attacks from Yemen's Houthi rebels.

This has led to major disruptions in one of the world's main trade routes, linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, which accounts for about 12 percent of global shipping traffic. In response to the escalating situation in the Red Sea, many container ships have either switched off their tracking systems or anchored, as companies scramble to reroute and adjust prices.

This week, the United States announced the formation of a multinational force to protect trade in the Red Sea following the Houthi attacks, which have compelled numerous shipping lines to halt operations. Malaysia's ban on Israeli ships comes at a time when these disruptions pose a significant challenge to global trade.

The move is seen as a strong political statement, reflecting Malaysia's position on the conflict in Gaza and its broader implications for international law and humanitarian concerns.

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