Israeli forces stormed a stadium in the Jerusalem Governorate on Thursday evening during a cup final between Jabal Al-Mukaber and Balata FC, firing tear gas onto the pitch and into the stands, Palestinian media reported.
Two Israeli armored vehicles entered the stadium at half-time during the West Bank Premier League final, causing the second half of the match to be suspended for more than an hour as fans were treated followers and players.
“The gas came into the dressing room and players were choking, with some fainting”, said Balata captain Saed Abu Saleem, according to a recent tweet from the Palestine Football Association.
“Explosions could still be heard in the background throughout and after the match,” the Association tweeted. Jabal Al Mukaber goalkeeper Rami Hamadi had to be treated in the second half after inhaling tear gas.
Despite the attack and the delay in the second half of the game, Jabal Al Mukaber went on to win the Yasser Arafat Cup with a 1-0 victory.
Sammir Issa, the manager of Jabal Al Mukaber, said he had dedicated the victory to Abu Khadija, who has been held by Israel without charge for the past three weeks.
In separate developments on Thursday, FIFA canceled Indonesia’s hosting of the U-20 World Cup, following protests by Indonesian authorities and citizens against Israel’s participation in the tournament.
(The New Arab, PC)