Pro-Palestine group wants ban on Israeli flags during Qatar World Cup

Pro-Palestine group wants ban on Israeli flags during Qatar World Cup
2 min read
03 November, 2022
An anti-normalisation group in Qatar has called on attendees not to raise the Israeli flag during games.
Thousands of Israelis are expected to attend the games, and can enter Qatar without a visa [Getty/archive]

A pro-Palestinian group in Qatar has called for a ban on Israeli flags during the 2022 FIFA World Cup later this month, calling on attendees to raise the Palestinian flag instead.

"We call on relevant authorities to prevent the carrying of Israeli flags and consider them a provocative act and an element threatening security and contrary to the principles of the Qatari people," a statement by the Qatar Youth Against Normalization group said.

"We call on the Qatari people and all Arab masses... to carry the Palestinian flags and to display them widely in and around stadiums, in the streets and over cars and homes throughout the days of the championship," the group added.

Organisers of the tournament have not responded to the campaign.

While Qatar and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, Israelis will be allowed to attend the World Cup without a visa in an agreement reached with FIFA last June.

Israeli journalists will also be able to cover the event but are required to fill out a "special journalist" visa.

Doha said improvements in diplomatic relations with Israel are dependent upon improved conditions for Palestinians.

Qatar in September rejected an alleged request to set up a temporary Israeli consulate office in Doha during the football tournament. Sources in the Qatari capital said Israel had discussed the issue with FIFA but Doha refused the request.

The World Cup in Qatar will be held from 20 November to 18 December.

Israeli forces continue to commit widespread crimes against the Palestinians, who are subject to a system of oppression and apartheid. 

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967, where it has expanded illegal settlements, detained thousands of Palestinians, and launched countless deadly raids across the Palestinian territories.

Unlike some of its Gulf neighbours, Qatar has rejected any normalisation with the Israeli government until an independent Palestinian state is established.