Kuwait Bans Israeli Shipping from Its Territorial Waters

The skyline of Kuwait City, the capital and largest city of Kuwait. (Francisco Anzola)

Kuwait has issued a ban on Israeli shipping, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday, quoting the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba.

Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Dr. Rana Abdullah Al-Fares ordered the exclusion of any vessels from Kuwaiti territorial waters carrying goods to or from Israel.

The order prohibits entry permits for ships with Israeli cargo, even if the vessels are only asking for a stopover in Kuwait en route to elsewhere.

Under Kuwaiti law, individuals and companies cannot conclude agreements with organizations or persons living in Israel and cannot deal financially or commercially with persons who have an interest in Israel, even if they live outside Israel. It is also illegal to import, exchange or possess any Israeli goods, commodities or products, whether received directly or indirectly. Products also cannot include any material from Israeli products.

Hamas issued a statement welcoming the decision, calling on other countries to “follow the same approach,” essentially a maritime boycott against Israel.

Kuwait is a staunch opponent of Israel.

When the Abraham Accords were signed last year, Kuwait insisted that it would “be the last” to normalize relations with Israel.

On Wednesday, Kuwait’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Talal Al-Fassam reiterated Kuwait’s support for the Palestinians and condemned a recent visit by Israeli President Isaac Herzog to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, saying it provoked the sentiments of Muslims worldwide, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

In May, the Kuwaiti parliament passed a bill that would restrict any form of contact with Israel. Any expressions of sympathy with Israel would also be outlawed.