Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba reported that the Kuwaiti government had issued a decree barring the entry of commercial vessels carrying goods from or to Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters.
The firm decision taken by Kuwait was issued by the Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Rana Abdullah Al-Fares, on Sunday, December 5.
The order prohibits entry permits being requested for ships carrying goods either from or to Israel, which means even if goods being taken to Israel are being brought to another country outside of Kuwait still prohibited to enter the gulf country.
The new decision stipulates that those who violate these instructions will be subject to strict legal measures.
Kuwait is known to oppose the normalization of relations with Israel strongly. In May, the Kuwaiti parliament passed a bill prohibiting its citizens and expatriate residents from transacting with entities or persons living in Israel and persons interested in or supporting Israel.
In the same month, the Kuwaiti government summoned the Czech ambassador to Kuwait, Martin Dvorak, for expressing online support for Israel, which was carrying out airstrikes on Gaza. Dvorak later issued an apology over the post.
However, Kuwait’s solidarity with the Palestinians is in stark contrast to other countries in the Gulf. Kuwait’s two neighbors Bahrain and the UAE began opening diplomatic and trade ties with Israel by signing the US-sponsored Abraham Agreement in August 2020.
Last week, Kuwait’s ambassador to the United Nations affirmed his country’s full support for the Palestinians and their legitimate right to establish an independent state. Kuwait also previously condemned the recent visit made by President Isaac Herzog to the Tomb of the Ancestors in Hebron, which was seen as a provocation to sentiments of Muslims worldwide.
Previously this Kuwaiti decision was also praised by Hamas through Hamas spokesman Hisham Qashim who said that the Kuwaiti decree was in line with the Arab boycott against the occupation (Israel), which the Arab League had adopted since the 1950s.
The spokesman also asked other countries to follow Kuwait’s steps and limit trade and maritime traffic with Israel.