newsIsrael at War

Malaysia bans ships headed to Israel from using its ports

Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s office said the ban would take effect immediately.

View of the port in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, March 9, 2023. Photo by Shir Torem/Flash90.
View of the port in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, March 9, 2023. Photo by Shir Torem/Flash90.

Malaysia’s government announced on Wednesday that it will block all Israeli-owned and -flagged ships, and any vessels headed to Israel, from docking at its ports.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s office said the ban would take effect immediately, CNN reported.

The decision is in response to the Gaza war.

“This sanction is a response to Israel’s actions that disregard the basic humanitarian principles and violate international law through the ongoing massacre and continuous cruelty against the Palestinian people,” according to a government statement.

An over 80% Muslim country (in fact, it boasts the world’s largest Muslim population), Indonesia has long been hostile to the Jewish state. It has seen massive anti-Israel rallies following Oct. 7.

The decision will likely add to Israel’s shipping woes as Houthi rebels from Yemen target ships in the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait, also in response to the Gaza conflict.

Attacks have increased the cost of shipping to Israel as transportation companies pull out of the Bab el-Mandeb route. Israel’s economy relies on seaborne trade.

On Monday, British energy giant BP became the latest firm to announce a halt to its Red Sea shipping due to Houthi attacks.

It joins a list that includes container lines Evergreen, Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Hapag-Lloyd and CMA-CGM.

The United States is launching a multinational force to counter the maritime threat posed by Iran-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen.

The 10-nation force, however, does not include Israel.

Asked by JNS on Tuesday why this was the case, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office replied, “This is a global problem which requires a global response. Of course, we are acting against this threat as it reaches our borders, and we will do whatever it takes to be involved in that task force.”

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