Video: Pro-Palestine protesters clash with Israeli footballers
Picture courtesy of Dailymail.co.uk
Pro-Palestinian protesters stormed a pitch where Israeli football team Maccabi Haifa was playing against French Lille football club in Austria when, the Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
The protesters ran to the field, interrupting the pre-season friendly match, and headed towards the Maccabi players, according to the report.
Despite video footage of the incident being recorded, it is unclear which side threw the first punch, but a player is seen tripping a fan before the fight broke out.
No one was hurt, police said according to the BBC.
Maccabi Haifa club denounced the incident, saying its club “believes in co-existence, tolerance and is against violence,” in a statement given to the Jerusalem Post.
“This didn’t happen because of sport or football, it happened because we are a team which represents Israel,” the statement added.
During the football match fight on Wednesday, sections of the crowd displayed banners calling for the liberation of Palestine.
Lille club tweeted saying the referee called a halt to the game after a group of youths, waving Palestinian flags and placards, invaded the pitch just three minutes before the end of the game.
Following the scuffles, security officers led the protesters away.
The incident comes as Israeli forces continue their airstrikes and ground operation in Gaza.
More than 700 Palestinians have died during 17 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas, which is based in the Gaza Strip. Add Israeli casualties.
Protests have occurred throughout Europe, with a French court sentencing three men to time in jail after a pro-Palestinian rally deteriorated into a violent demonstration in a Paris suburb, the BBC reported.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the violent protest.
Meanwhile in Germany, provocative slogans dating back to the days of Hitler were heard during rallies, the Daily Mail reported.