Thousands protest Israel on Al-Quds Day

Minnie Murray
June 10, 2018

The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through non-violent means.

The encounter was called off on Tuesday after a campaign by the Palestinians following its relocation to Jerusalem.

"When it became known that it would be in Jerusalem, the first thing we did was get in touch with alert them about the sensitivity and delicate situation that this implied, including because it could involve security issues", the Argentine foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, said in an interview with local radio station Mitre.

He accused them of threatening players and their families, without providing any evidence.

On Friday, the United States vetoed a similar request made by Kuwait to condemn Israel's use of force against Palestinian civilians, which US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called "grossly one-sided view" and failing to pin any responsibility on Hamas.

The exhibition game was initially scheduled to be played in Haifa, in the north of Israel, but last month was moved to Jerusalem, a move pushed by the culture minister, Regev.

The shift of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem has made Israel -Palestine more complex and sensitive, the place is surrounded by faith, now the diplomatic move by United States dragged Jerusalem into worldwide politics. Likewise Israel will push other countries to shift embassies to dilute the nature of conflict and present Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

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.

Now, Argentina is a team that hasn't won the World Cup since 1986.

Rajoub laughed off Israeli threats of action, denying there was any intimidation.

Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has meanwhile said Israeli snipers should shoot the kite flyers.

Netanyahu is now visiting Europe and his office could not immediately confirm the reports.

Claudio Tapia, president of the AFA, apologised for cancelling the match but said the safety of the players was at stake.

"Argentina is seven days from the World Cup".

In the capitals of Iran and Iraq, thousands of Shiite Muslims marked Jerusalem Day with protests, with some chanting "Death to Israel" or burning Israeli flags and effigies of President Donald Trump.

Late last month, in response to a large mortar and rocket attack by terrorist groups from Gaza, the Israeli military targeted other key Hamas naval capabilities, the army had said.

Yesterday, four Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli soldiers near the border fence during new clash-ridden protests in the blockaded enclave.

Messi is widely quoted as telling Argentina sports channel TyC Sports: "As a UNICEF ambassador, I can not play against people who kill innocent Palestinian children".

Israeli organizers noted an offer to have the game played in Barcelona instead.

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