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‘Argentina has triumphed for international law with calling off Israel friendly’


The secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has hailed the Argentine Football Association’s decision to cancel a planned friendly against the Israel men’s national football team in Jerusalem al-Quds, stating that Argentina has triumphed for international law. 

“The world will not surrender to the Israeli regime’s terrorism, blackmail, threats and intimidation, which is supported by the administration of US President Donald Trump,” Saeb Erekat said in a statement released on Wednesday.

He added that “the international community will not surrender to the Tel Aviv regime’s crimes against the Palestinian nation, and that Israel should be punished, not rewarded, for killing peaceful Palestinian protesters, including children and women.”

Erekat then extended his gratitude to the Argentine people and national soccer team over “triumphing for international law and standing against the harassment, threats and blackmail” from Israeli and American officials, namely US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

President of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub (Photo by AP)

Also on Wednesday, the Palestinian Football Association welcomed the scrapping of the 2018 FIFA World Cup warm-up match, which was scheduled to be held on Saturday at the Teddy Kollek stadium.

“What happened… is a red card from everybody to the Israelis,” the association boss Jibril Rajoub said at a press conference.

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie (Photo by AP)

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said before confirmation of the game’s cancellation that he believed his country’s players had been reluctant to travel to occupied territories for the match.

“As far as I know, the players of the national team were not willing to play the game,” Faurie said.

Meanwhile, Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman has criticized Argentina’s national football team for calling off the friendly match.

Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (Photo by AFP)

“It’s a shame that Argentina’s footballing nobility did not withstand the pressure from Israeli-hating inciters,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

The cancellation of the friendly football match between Argentina and Israel in Jerusalem al-Quds comes at a time when at least 125 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great March of Return” began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Fourteen children are among the fallen Palestinians.

About 13,300 Palestinians also sustained injuries, of whom 300 are in a critical condition.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the US would move its embassy to the city.

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and elsewhere in the world.

Palestinian protesters carry away an injured comrade during a demonstration along the border with occupied territories, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, on June 5, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians see East Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of their future state.

In a final communiqué issued following an emergency meeting in Istanbul on May 18, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the May 14 massacre of dozens of Gazans as “savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with the backing of the US administration.”

It also urged the UN to “form an international investigation committee into the recent atrocities in the Gaza Strip, and enable the committee to initiate field investigation.”

The OIC further demanded “the international protection of the Palestinian population including through dispatching of international protection force” in the face of “unchecked crimes” committed by the Tel Aviv regime.

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