Middle East

Over 250 Palestinian sportsmen killed in Israeli attacks since Oct. 7: Official

More than 55 sports facilities destroyed in Israeli attacks, according to Palestinian figures

Qais Abu Samra  | 09.05.2024 - Update : 10.05.2024
Over 250 Palestinian sportsmen killed in Israeli attacks since Oct. 7: Official

RAMALLAH, Palestine

At least 265 Palestinian sportsmen have been killed in Israeli attacks since last October, the Palestinian Football Association said on Thursday.

“The victims include players, administrators and technical staff, including 11 in the West Bank” Jibril Rajoub, head of the association, told reporters.

“Dozens of athletes remain under the rubble, and we are unable to count their number,” he said. “Many athletes are also held in Israeli jails.”

Rajoub said the association has submitted a draft resolution to the football governing body FIFA to bring Israel to accountability.

“The Israeli Football Association has violated FIFA's regulations on several issues,” he said, citing Israel’s refusal to hold football matches in the Palestinian territories.

"We are unable to organize a league or even host World Cup qualifiers on our land," he added. “Israel destroyed all sports institutions in Gaza and turned them into detention facilities similar to Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prisons.”

According to Palestinian figures, more than 55 sports facilities were destroyed in Israeli attacks, with 38 in Gaza.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a Hamas attack last Oct. 7, which killed 1,200 people. More than 34,900 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and over 78,500 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Over seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January said it is "plausible" that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and ordered Tel Aviv to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio in Istanbul

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