Israeli forces tear gas Palestinian footballers, fans during cup final
Israeli forces stormed a stadium in Jerusalem governorate on Thursday evening during a cup final game between Jabal Al-Mukaber and Balata FC, firing teargas onto the pitch and into the stands.
Two Israeli armoured vehicles entered the stadium at half time during the final between the West Bank Premier League teams, causing the second half of the game to be suspended for over an hour as fans and players were treated.
BREAKING: More pictures coming in from Faisal Al-Husseini stadium. League Cup final unlikely to resume after Israeli forces stormed the stadium at halftime and fired teargas into the stands and onto the pitch. pic.twitter.com/y5BxGnirA8— FootballPalestine.com (@FutbolPalestine) March 30, 2023
“The gas seeped into the dressing room and players were choking, with some fainting”, said Balata captain Saed Abu Saleem, according to a recent tweet from the Palestinian Football Association.
أثناء إقامة نهائي كأس فلسطين لكرة القدم ، قوات الاستعمار الاسرائيلي تهاجم الحضور في ملعب فيصل الحسيني بالقنابل الغازية ما أدى لإصابة العشرات بالاختناق.— hafid derradji حفيظ دراجي (@derradjihafid) March 30, 2023
هي وصمة عار أخرى لا تقل قذارة على كل الممارسات اللاإنسانية التي يتعرض لها شعبنا الفلسطيني الأبي . pic.twitter.com/oscer56wuO
“Explosions could still be heard in the background throughout and after the game,” tweeted the Association. Rami Hamadi, goalkeeper for Jabal Al Mukaber, also had to be treated in the second half after inhaling tear gas.
New scenes showing the Israeli forces attack on the final match of the Palestinian official Football Cup near Alram in Occupied East Jerusalem.— Younis | يونس (@ytirawi) March 30, 2023
Tens of Palestinians were suffocated (incl players) from tear gas. Jibril Rjoub said that he will report this incident to [@FIFAcom] pic.twitter.com/QtBpyHrAxU
Despite the attack and the hour delay to the second half of the match, Jabal Al Mukaber went on to win the Yasser Arafat Cup with a 1-0 victory. Sammir Issa, Jabal Al Mukaber’s manager, said he had dedicated the win to Abu Khadija, who has been detain by Israel without charge for the past three weeks.
In separate developments on Thursday, FIFA stripped Indonesia's hosting the U-20 World Cup, following protests by Indonesian authorities and citizens against Israel’s participation in the tournament.