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Argentina-Israel Soccer Game Canceled Over Playing in Jerusalem
08 June 2018, 03:23 | Devin Moran
The Argentina squad in training in Barcelona
"The Netanyahu government is spitting in the face of the world and the global community, both regarding the annexation of Jerusalem and its ongoing denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, and therefore it should not be awarded with a prize in the form of the Eurovision in Jerusalem", Jabareen toldTazpit Press Service. Argentina's soccer federation canceled the game Tuesday, and on Wednesday, apologized to those who had bought tickets.
"But that's the way it is, we have to travel on the day before the match, play Israel in Israel and then from there go on to Russian Federation". 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.
That Argentina was prepared to cancel one of its precious warm-up matches days ahead of the World Cup illustrates the awkwardness of the situation Israel had placed them in. "It's terror", Regev said, claiming that the idea for the match stemmed from Messi's own desire to visit the holy city.
While Regev and Netanyahu have followed the usual script and blamed the Argentinian cancellation on Palestinian terrorism, in Israel fingers are being pointed at each other.
It is arguably this "all or nothing" approach that has seen the Palestinian movement gain very little ground over the past century.
As part of the campaign Mohammed published a video on May 15 pleading to the Argentine team and its captain Lionel Messi "to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and boycott the scheduled game with Israel".
"The Israeli government is trying to give it political significance by insisting it be held in Jerusalem".
Although the stadium that was slated to host the match is in west Jerusalem, Rajoub had complained that it is situated in a neighbourhood built on the site of a former Palestinian village destroyed during the war surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.
"From that moment on Palestinians launched an intense effort to prevent the game from taking place".
Following the move, he held a press conference in Ramallah featuring a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading, "From Palestine, thank you Messi".
Rajoub had urged Messi not to play in the game in Jerusalem and urged fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.
Hamadeh Freij, a journalist in Gaza, said that people in the besieged territory were excited about the decision and that the issue dominated discussions during iftar.
After the game was officially cancelled, the Israel Football Association said that they would take action against the PA in worldwide forums after the "brutal and physical threats against the Argentine team".
Israel accused the Palestinians of "football terror", saying their threats saw Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and his team abandon what would have been Argentina's final friendly match ahead of the World Cup.
AFA's president Claudio Tapia said today "I hope everyone understands this decision I made as a contribution to world peace".
Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization secretary, thanked Argentina for "choosing to abide by the principles of worldwide law and for refusing to yield to any form of bullying, intimidation and extortion".
But after intense Palestinian protests, Argentinaannounced its team would not attend the event.
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