Tue 11-June-2024

Euro-Med demands holding Israel accountable for its crimes against Palestinian athletes

Saturday 18-May-2024

GENEVA, (PIC)

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the International Olympic Committee and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to take serious measures against Israel including accountability for the crimes it committed against Palestinian athletes amid the genocide war it has been waging in the Gaza Strip since October 7 last year.

The Euro-Med revealed in a press statement on Saturday that the ongoing Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip for the eighth month in a row, has killed at least 270 Palestinian athletes, while sport infrastructure, facilities and stadiums were either completely or severely damaged.

The human rights organization charged Israeli occupation forces (IOF) with deliberately turning the Al-Yarmouk Stadium in Gaza City into a detention center where hundreds of Palestinians including minors were humiliated as they appeared naked after being stripped of their clothes in scenes broadcasted by Israeli media in December 2023.

The Euro-Med stressed that international sports bodies must take a decisive stance regarding Israel’s violations against athletes and civilian sports figures in the Gaza Strip, addressing the FIFA in particular as it intends to schedule an extraordinary council meeting by July 20 to decide on an immediate suspension of Israel’s membership at the request of the Palestinian Federation, with the support of the Asian Football Confederation.

The Human Rights Monitor documented the destruction of 31 sports facilities, football fields, gyms, headquarters, and sports training halls, that may amount to the destruction of more than 80% of sports facilities at stadiums or clubs in the Gaza Strip.

Hundreds of players from the Gaza Strip were prevented from their right to travel abroad to represent Palestine in various international tournaments, in addition to the cessation of all sports activities, events and tournaments, due to the ongoing Israeli aggression, the Euro-Med revealed.

The human rights group said, “the FIFA cannot continue turning a blind eye to these violations committed in the ongoing genocide war in the Gaza Strip.”

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