BEIRUT

Middle East

Protesters attack Israeli soccer team in Austria over Gaza

This photo taken from the "Shabakat Quds al-Ikhbariya" Facebook page shows protesters attacking Israeli soccer players at a friendly match in Austria Wednesday evening.

VIENNA: Protesters against Israel's military offensive in Gaza attacked Israeli soccer players at a friendly match in Austria Wednesday evening, stopping play five minutes before the end.

Salzburg police said Thursday that around 20 people with flags and placards, mostly Austrians of Turkish origin, stormed the pitch shouting slogans about the Gaza conflict, in which more than 700 Palestinians have been killed and thousands displaced.

Police said there were clashes with the players from Maccabi Haifa, which was playing a friendly against Lille in Bischofshofen in Salzburg province, but no one was injured and police were quickly able to calm the situation.

The provincial office for the protection of the constitution is investigating.

Austria's chancellor condemned the violence.

"Guests who are staying in Austria have the right to do so in safety, regardless of their origin and religion," Werner Faymann said in a statement.

 

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