Kuwait bans entry of ships carrying goods to and from Israel

A Kuwaiti decree banned the entry of vessels carrying goods to or from Israel into Kuwait territorial waters.

 Freight trucks and vehicles drive on the only entrance to Kuwait's Shuwaikh Port from the Ghazalli Bridge in Shuwaikh February 11, 2013 (photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE MCGEHEE)
Freight trucks and vehicles drive on the only entrance to Kuwait's Shuwaikh Port from the Ghazalli Bridge in Shuwaikh February 11, 2013
(photo credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE MCGEHEE)

Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Dr. Rana Abdullah Al-Fares issued an order on Saturday banning the entry of commercial vessels loaded with goods to and from Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Anba.

The order prohibits entry permits being requested for ships carrying goods to or from Israel, even if goods being carried from Israel are being brought to another country outside of Kuwait.

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 on Saturday, calling on other countries to “follow the same approach” and restrict Israeli trade and maritime traffic.

 Kuwait's new Emir Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah gestures as he takes the oath of office at the parliament, in Kuwait City, Kuwait September 30, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE MCGEHEE/FILE PHOTO) Kuwait's new Emir Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah gestures as he takes the oath of office at the parliament, in Kuwait City, Kuwait September 30, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/STEPHANIE MCGEHEE/FILE PHOTO)

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

On Wednesday, Kuwait’s permanent ambassador to the UN, 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.