Hamas praises Arab support for Palestine at World Cup

Mohamed Hatem , Monday 28 Nov 2022

The Palestinian group Hamas praised Arab football fans’ "wide-scale support" for Palestine during Qatar's 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first ever to be held in the Arab world.

World Cup Palestine flag
Supporters show a flag reading Free Palestine on the tribune during the World Cup group D soccer match between Tunisia and Australia at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. AP

 

"Hamas is very happy with the wide-scale support shown by football fans towards the Palestinian people during their stay in Qatar," Hamas' Spokesperson Abdul Latif Al-Qanou said.

Hamas' spokesperson also praised those "free people" from other nations around the world standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause.

Supporters expressed their solidarity during the World Cup by challenging Israeli journalists outside the stadiums and holding Palestinan flags alongside the state flags of their national teams during matches.

In one such controversial encounter, a Saudi fan reportedly told an Israeli journalist "there is no Israel, only Palestine.”

Hamas officials capitalised on the politically charged World Cup by rallying for greater support against "institutionalised Israeli oppression."

"This illustrates the fact that the Israeli occupation state is isolated," the spokesperson for the Gaza-based group added.

The Israelis occupied most of Palestine in 1948 and declared their own state. In the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, the occupation state occupied what remained of Palestine, namely the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It ethnically cleansed Palestinians and settled more than 500,000 people illegally.

The Palestinians seek the occupied territory, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, for their hoped-for independent state.

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