Israel must be excluded from 2024 Paris Olympics, activists urge
Over 300 Palestinian sports clubs and a number of civil society organisations have initiated a campaign urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to exclude Israel from the upcoming Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
The campaign, led by Palestinian teams in football, basketball, and volleyball, was triggered by Israel’s killing of more than 24,000 Palestinians in Gaza, which United Nations experts have characterised as a genocide.
The destruction of the Palestinian Olympic Committee’s office in Gaza and the killing of Palestinian Olympic football team coach, Captain Hani Al-Masdar, were among the instances fuelling the calls.
The campaign comes as Israel faces legal challenges at the International Court of Justice over accusations of genocide, a case brought forward by South Africa and backed by various international entities.
The Palestinian appeal drew attention to the IOC's previous actions against Russia, calling for a consistent application of standards.
The killing of Palestinian athletes, including 16-year-old player Said Odeh, has also been highlighted by Palestinian sports clubs as part of their call for action, aiming to exert pressure on Israel through sports diplomacy.
"To allow Israel, in the midst of a genocide, to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games would signal to the international community that the IOC approves of the gravest of war crimes," says the @PACBI-led #BanIsrael campaign. #Paris2024 https://t.co/WJNwBsNbMO— Common Dreams (@commondreams) January 18, 2024
Following an Israeli military operation on Al Yarmouk stadium in Gaza earlier, the Palestinian Football Association called for FIFA and other sports federations to hold Israel accountable.
Over 200 Irish athletes have joined in, demanding an investigation into Israel's compliance with the Olympic charter.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) recently announced the exclusion of Israel from its championships for "security" reasons, mirroring the rationale for suspending Russia and Belarus.