January 21, 2019

AFP photographer hit as Israel fires on Gaza protesters

10 June 2018, 03:00 | Darnell Patrick

AFP photographer hit as Israel fires on Gaza protesters

Israel cancel World Cup warm-up friendly with Argentina citing threats against Lionel Messi

Many Israelis were angry Wednesday after Argentina suddenly cancelled plans to send players to a sporting event.

In a letter to Argentinian Ambassador Faustino Garcia, Jabareen wrote: "While Israel has long sought worldwide recognition and acceptance of Jerusalem as its capital, the recognition should not be forthcoming". The football match was to take place just days before the start of World Cup championship action in Russian Federation. -APP Protesters pledged to continue raising voice for rights of oppressed Palestinians.

Whitford responded to Mason by saying she would defend her right to criticise Israel, and called on the Scottish Government to back the establishment of a Palestinian state.

On Tuesday, protesters outside the Barcelona training facility-where the Argentine national soccer team has been practicing for the FIFA World Cup-held Argentinian soccer jerseys stained with red paint resembling blood. Many people were hoping to see Messi, one of the game's stars, in person.

Late Wednesday, Israel's Sports Ministry said that a "negotiation" about the match was underway, but gave no other details.

Afateh Salehi, a 58-year-old army employee, said Iranians "want all people to live in peace together".

The Argentine Football Association said that with the World Cup beginning on June 14, the squad needed to "focus on what is really important".

Ahead of the game Rajoub had urged Messi not to take part and called on fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.

Rajoub has long urged Fifa to expel Israel from the global football federation, citing Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian footballers and because Israel maintains teams in West Bank settlements.

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"The Argentinians never objected to holding the match in Jerusalem", she added.

"There is no such state called Israel that could have a capital called Jerusalem", Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters. He had a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi".

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed the area in a move not recognised by the worldwide community. He said, "They tried to use sport as a tool for political ends, and for this I think, they failed".

It had originally been scheduled to take place the northern Israeli city of Haifa but was moved after pressure from Israel's hardline sports minister, Miri Regev.

"All the video and photo evidence suggests they were not "under invasion from terrorists" - the Israeli's were shooting children from over 300 metres away".

The Argentinean move raised fears that it could lead to future boycotts of Jerusalem.

On Thursday, Israeli officials involved in the song competition were cited by Haaretz as saying there was "unease" in the European Broadcasting Union about holding the contest in Jerusalem next year.

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli last week aired misgivings about having his players make the trip to Israel, noting he preferred to remain in Barcelona.

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